Yoga…in Turkish

Last Monday I went to my first yoga class in Turkey. Now I am not a newbie to yoga and thus was looking forward to not only getting a good stretch every week but also credit for doing something I love. I went with a friend and in passing she made the comment of “I wonder what downward dog is in Turkish” too which I responded, I don’t know but I dont think we will learn it since the course is in English (while I am at a university in Turkish, my courses are in English, except for my actual Turkish course)…and now my yoga class. I was completely wrong in making that comment because the yoga class is taught in Turkish. The actual title of the course is Yoga and Relaxation Techniques. The latter of which I am having difficulties with since I am just trying to figure out what she is saying. By the end of the first course I had picked up on a lot of the yoga vocabulary, but not without having to awkwardly glance up from the pretzel twisted poses.

Now yesterday I attended my second yoga course which I definitely enjoyed, but am still wondering if it will be as relaxing as I hoped for. While it provides a good stretch, it is definitely not like the courses I attended in the states, but thankfully it is not as intense as the yoga I experienced while in India.

Sidestory: In the winter of 2011 I found myself in India for 3 weeks. At one of the places we stayed 6am yoga was offered. Now you are probably thinking I must have had an experience equivalent to that of the pray section in “Eat, Pray, Love” because I was inĀ the yoga capitalĀ but my experience was the complete and utter opposite. The yoga instructor I will never forget because his pot-bellied figure will forever be ingrained in my memory. Resembling something just shy of a buddha you would expect kind and soothing words, but instead he was mean. I remember his comment to one of the girls of “why are you fat – you are Indian” and I just wanted to say “look whose talking” but instead I was experiencing bodily pain because of the position he had somehow managed my body to be twisted into with his probing. Needless to say I only got up early a few mornings for yoga while there and it wasn’t just because it was yoga in the outdoors in 45 degree weather.

So yes my Turkish course is relaxing, but I am still super nervous in it. Now the teacher knows I am a foreigner (most of the students are Turkish and thus understand her ramblings that are somewhat philosophical), but I am not sure I am gaining as much out of the course as I would like. However, I at least was in the right course.

Yesterday when working on breathing techniques the gal sitting next to me inquired whether or not this was Latin Dance to which I was super confused and said no it is yoga. To that she goes “oooohhhhh that makes more sense – I wanted to dance” to which I couldn’t hold back the chuckles and the two of us found ourselves in a fit of laughter with the teacher staring us down which just sent us into another round of giggles.

So I guess my decision lies with whether or not I will continue on with yoga in the class like structure or figure out another more successful way of improving my relaxation techniques – something that is definitely necessary.