Liam taught me the Greek word for eyes: matia. So when I heard a string of melodious Greek words from my new yoga instructor ending with “matia” I knew she must have said, “Close your eyes.” The rest was, well, Greek to me.
The studio space was lovely, light and airy, and the class size was very small, just a handful of us. We started in Supta Baddha Konasana, a pose I’m especially familiar with from my prenatal yoga days, and one I easily recognized from Sanskrit. Kalliopi, the instructor and owner, talked us through the pose, kindly leaning down to whisper it in English to me as well. Each instructor has their own teaching style, and she threw in a few poses I’d never done before. But looking around, I could usually manage to figure it out. If I didn’t quite follow along, Kalliopi would come over to translate.
There’s something especially peaceful about listening to a foreign language. Greek, especially, has a lovely cadence to it, and I really enjoyed listening to the sound of her voice. The drop-in rate was a little high, 15 Euros, but I’ve probably gotten spoiled by the $10-12 drop-in rate standard in Wichita. The studio is only a 10-minute walk from my house, so I don’t have to ruin my post-yoga serenity by negotiating traffic.
One reason I prefer attending classes over practicing yoga by myself at home is the social aspect. I can chit chat with people, make some friends, get a little adult conversation during my normally kid-filled day. But here it’s a challenge: I know pretty much zero Greek, and so I can’t jump in on a conversation like I normally can. James says I won’t be able to take any Greek classes at the Embassy until October, so I’ll have to get back to working with my Greek lesson app. Many people speak English here, so I’m getting by ok. But it would be nice to at least attempt a conversation in the native language. If nothing else, it helps break the ice with strangers without sounding like a boorish American who refuses to learn another language.