Yoga and Chance Encounters

Six months. Six months?! It has been six months since my last yoga class here. Seriously, what in the heck do I DO all day? Oh, yeah. Baby = Time Suck.

Anyway, now that school has started and I have our babysitter twice a week, I decided it was high time I get back into a yoga routine. I really enjoyed the class I took last time, but this tiny studio isn’t open weekday mornings, so I had to look elsewhere. I found a couple of promising studios: Prana Yoga at the Olympic Stadium, and Athens Yoga near a metro stop close to down town. The former had more weekday morning offerings, including Pilates, so I decided to try that one first. And with a drop in rate of 12 Euros, it was the most affordable one, too.

The class was packed, way more crowded for a Tuesday morning than I would have expected. Usually I don’t like crowded classes, but because it was taught entirely in Greek (with a few helpful English instructions if the need arose), it was nice to have an array of bodies to observe and copy. I’ve been practicing yoga for…wow, like a dozen or so years…so I was able to follow along pretty easily. It helped that I know a lot of the Sanskrit words for poses. The instructor spent about five minutes at the beginning of class explaining…something in Greek. Whatever it was, he spoke it very quickly, and I was able to kind of lose myself in the rhythm of his words. We did some Ommms, some chanting, lots of poses I’d done before, and a few I hadn’t. We partnered up a couple of times, which was fine — everybody speaks English here!

So, funny observation. One of my pet peeves about yoga instructors is when they get their left and right mixed up. No judgement — I’m sure I would be horrible at it — but, still, annoying. However, when the class is being taught to you in a foreign language, you’re not even really listening to the words. I had no idea if he was saying “left” or “right” — I was just looking around and doing what everyone else seemed to be doing. I have a feeling if I go to enough yoga classes here, I’ll pick up a few words. I clearly heard the words for “inhale” and “exhale” and I already know that matia means “eye.”

All in all, I was pleased with the practice, and I look forward to going back. I’m going to give Pilates a try next time. Should be interesting to see how I fair following along in Greek. I’m not as experienced with Pilates.

Now for the chance encounter. As I was leaving, I spied a couple of moms with young babies walking back up to the complex. One mom in particular had the exact same color Baby Bjorn that I do. Inspired by the coincidence, I casually asked her if there was a baby class there…next thing I knew I’d made fast friends with a fellow ex-pat! She’s actually from Ireland, but it’s funny how, when living abroad, you’ll instantly gravitate toward other English-speaking foreigners. We exchanged info with promises to meet up again sometime soon.

Between Liam’s school connections, people I’m meeting at the embassy, and friendly chance encounters, my social calendar is filling up. Which is a good thing for me — I’m happiest when I’m among friends. But these new connections are somewhat bittersweet. Our time here is limited, and once we move on, I doubt I’ll have a chance to see any of these people again. But, hey, there’s always Facebook, right? And on the bright side, we’ll have friends to visit all over the world.


One thought on “Yoga and Chance Encounters

  1. Julie Weddle

    You amaze me how quickly you meet up with people and make friends! You DO have friends all over the world even now! The upside of that is you do have lots of people you know but it can be harder cause you don’t know people as long or as well. FB does help though, and is a different world today!


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