It became a running joke at work that I would leave Istanbul without going to a single yoga class.
One day when I came home from work, I mentioned to Feraz that it was a yoga night at the studio by our house. Then I got cozy on the couch. Usually this is the first step to a doomed evening. The couch is soo comfy. Once you are on it, there is no point of ever leaving. Then, Feraz and I ate the delicious okra and potatoes we had made. We set up the latest Gossip Girl and settled in for some good home cooked food and a side of that saucy serena and her bestie blair. It was such a great episode! It was such a tasty meal!
And then the clock crept closer to the hour that I quietly let pass every evening there is a yoga class. But Feraz wasn't going to let me weasel out of this one. "It's almost time for yoga!" he said. I scrunched my face and said, "Should we go?" as if this was a brand new idea.
Go we did.
My first impression of the studio was good. There were huge photographs of theatre students all over the walls. Incidentally, the yoga studio is connected to a film school. (Hena, come move in with us!) So, up, up we went past all the photos. One floor. Two floors. Three floors. The higher we climber the hotter the rooms got. Four floors. Almost there...Five floors... Six floors! Finally, we arrived to the reception area. As we paid for our class we came to realize that the teacher for our class didn't know English and the class would be taught in Turkish.
How about the Thursday night teacher, does she speak English? Yes. How about the Saturday and Sunday teachers, do they speak English? Yes. This was the only night the teacher didn't speak English. I turned to Feraz and helpfully suggested that we walk along the Bosporus for exercise. No go. The receptionist suggested that we try the class and if we couldn't follow along we could leave early and she would give us our money back. Even my lawyerly brain couldn't argue with that so up we went, one more flight of stairs, to our class.
For the first fifteen minutes, I used all my energy and discipline to not laugh and fall over. Even though I like yoga and its effect on my body and mind, hearing someone instruct you in Turkish while there are loud ahhhhhhs as the room exhales ands hearing lots of funny words at the same time can set off a serious case of the giggles. The best part was looking over at Feraz who is totally new to yoga. His face always had a look of intense concentration or extreme confusion so that was pretty comical in itself.
Eventually my body started to feel the various positions and I had to start concentrating. Every now and then the teacher would come up to me and adjust me a little bit and whisper "I am so sorry I don't know English." I wanted to hug her she was so nice! At the very end we laid down in our cool down mode. We had large round pillows under our knees and it felt amazing. But it wasn't over! The teacher brought out a blanket and laid it over me. Then she brought a scented eye pillow and put that on. Ahhhhhh. So amazing. In those last five minutes as I laid there I felt perfect.