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 in the yoga capital 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.


3 thoughts on “Yoga…in Turkish

  1. Still sounds so cool! Definitely a fun story you can tell. I am thinking about doing Italian yoga here too bc there are student deals. However, do we both concur that we miss piyo with Barbara? That was fabulous,and can’t wait to start again.

  2. Randomly found this post online, but, I am assuming this is the yoga class Bogazici offers, and the one I start tomorrow. Could you tell me where exactly the classes take place as the course schedules say nothing on that point??

    • Hey yes it is the Bogazici course. Last term it was in the gym in the Student Activities Building – the same building as the international office – you have to enter via the left side though (go down the steps off the quad and instead of going right in the direction of the one cafe you go to the left and there are locker rooms and offices back there – you will go up a strange staircase that comes out into the floor of the gym. Be sure to take yoga clothes for the first day. Best of luck at Bogazici and let me know if you have other questions about the university or Istanbul (:

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