Inhalar y exhalar: Spanish Sivananda

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Sivananda | 0 comments

I was Madrid recently for a few days and I’d thought that if I had time, it would be great to visit the Sivananda Centre there.

And so, on a wet and windy Spanish afternoon, I emerged from the Metro into the suburbs, avoiding the splashes as cars whizzed past through puddles. Struggling to hold my printed map, bag and umbrella I walked down a side street and found a familiar orange sign saying ‘Sivananda Yoga’ outside a residential block.

I was buzzed in, left my shoes on the shoe rack and I instantly relaxed. I was greeted by a lady in her 60’s wearing white baggy trousers, a trusty yellow t-shirt and a smart black blazer. And she started babbling away in Spanish. “Habla Ingles?” I replied in my best GCSE Spanish. “Si, si un poco, you are here for the class?”

I went into the class and she was teaching. She pointed to a space next to her and we sat to chant the Dhyana Slokas. A couple of people joined in including myself and through my closed eyes, I sensed someone looking at me. I peeked and she was looking straight at me.

It’s funny, if it was me teaching, having someone turn up at the last minute, with only a schoolgirl’s grasp of the language, I may have had tiny pangs of panic: How will she understand what to do in the class? Has she even done yoga before? I have 11 other people to pay attention to!

But, as I joined in with the om shantis, I hope I reassured her that it was all going to be ok. The class covered the breathing exercises, the sun salutations and the 12 basic postures and it was great. There were a few subtle differences but it all made sense and it was fortunate that I know my Spanish left from my right.

After the class, I wandered round the reception area/shop taking in the familiar books (in Spanish), postcards, pictures of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda and even a graduation photo from the last London teacher training course. The Centre was more modest than the London one but just as welcoming.

As I was sitting on the Metro going back to my hotel, I thought about how lucky I was to be able to rock up to a yoga class in a foreign country and feel totally at home. There most definitely is an international Sivananda family and I feel very blessed to be part of it.

Om shanti.

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