For those of you that know me, you know that yoga plays a very important role in my life. Before I came to Tel Aviv, I did some research and found a yoga studio close by that is English speaking and has a good reputation.
However, I was a bit apprehensive before starting yoga here. The culture is not very ‘zen.’ It is actually quite the opposite- the city is busy and hot. The people are very aggressive and in-your-face. There is no personal space here, and people are very casual and laid-back when it comes to any type of organized group setting. When it comes to yoga, everyone likes to chat in between poses, and these interruptions are more than welcome.
So, I thought writing this form of a screenplay was a good way to give you a glimpse into typical Israeli culture, and what one of my very first yoga classes here was like:
INT. YOGA STUDIO – EVENING
GUY, gorgeous gay yoga instructor in his twenties, rolls out
his mat on the wooden floor of his studio. He welcomes
people into his class, as they roll out their mats as well.
(in thick Israeli accent)
Okay! Welcome everybody! Let’s
start in downward dog!
MEEKA, Guy’s tiny adorable cocker-spaniel, struggles to
unhook the plastic leash from the table it’s attached to.
The whole class is now in downward dog and Guy guides the
class with breathing “deep breath in and out, in and out.”
Bark! Bark! Arrrrr!
The yoga class moves into plank pose as Meeka barks.
Meeka, stop it! Okay, people, step
forward from plank, flat back, and
Meeka unhooks herself and her collor wraps around her foot
as she frollocks towards me, the plastic leash drags behind
Meeka licks my face multiple times as I am in a forward
fold. She runs to lick all of the other student’s faces.
Guy laughs as class continues.
Meeeeeeekaaaa. Nooo, come here my
precious. Goooood giiiirl.
I look around to make sure I am in the right pose, yet
everyone in the class is doing something different.
Isn’t Meeka adorable? Okay, people.
What are we doing? Common- downward
dog into yoga pushup! Put some
effort in this time!
MAYA, a young mother in tight spandex, carrying her newborn
BABY in a carseat, walks into the studio thirty minutes
Shalom! Maya! It’s been forever,
how are you? Welcome to class!
Maya plops the carseat on the floor and rolls out her mat.
She walks up to Guy and they kiss on the cheek. Maya moves
herself into downward dog.
Oh, look at that baby! So cute!
Okay people are we warm yet? Let’s
go, warrior one into warrior two
The class clumsily makes it’s way into standing poses.
Aw, baby, don’t cry!
The class is in Warrior Two. Guy bends down to pick up the
crying baby. Guy cradles the baby in his arms and the baby
quiets down. Meeka jumps on Guy’s leg.
Ugh, I want a baby soooo bad. Cute
cute cute! Everyone in warrior two,
spread those fingers and toes!
Strong backs and flex your stomach!
The baby coos up at Guy as he walks around the room
Meeka barks and yelps trying to get Guy’s attention.
Meeka quiet! Don’t be jealous of
the baby, I love you too, my princess. Alright, people,
move into Warrior three! Hold the
poses! Breath in and out. Focus on the pose!
The class struggles to hold Warrior Three. Meeka runs in
fast circles around the studio, panting uncontrollably.
GUY (still holding the baby)
People, these poses are awful!
Let’s do these again!
Guy puts the baby back into the carseat and ties Meeka back
up on the desk, and class goes on.
Ten minutes later in Shivasana (resting pose) the baby
cries again. Guy picks up the baby. Meeka starts to bark.
The whole class is resting. I begin to sit up, and others follow, as we make our way to the end of class.
We sit at the top of our mats, eyes closed, with hands to our hearts.
Guy, you know, you are going to be
such a good father someday. You are so good with him.
Aw, thanks sweetie. You know, me and my partner, we are starting to talk about this. I think it is my destiny to have a baby.
Meeka begins to cry. She unhooks herself from the desk again.
Awww, come here Meeka! Oh, okay, people, ehhm, that is all. Good class. Namaste.