Saturday, September 20, 2008

King Richard does yoga~

King Richard is in my yoga class. I noticed him because while the rest of the class twisted to the left, I twisted to the right-- I am directionally challenged-- and stared straight at the portly, equally twisted, grey-bearded man less than three feet from me.

He plays King Richard at the annual King Richard's Faire in a neighboring town, but I didn't know that until the class was over and he offered us complimentary tickets-- I took two, a fifty-dollar value.

He was a bit of a noisy breather, this only man in the class of woman. The instructor remarked that we were "quiet breathers" and this spurred him to breathe more avidly. She commented that he was using the "ocean breath." It sounded like the one my husband uses when he falls asleep in front of the TV.

I've done yoga off and on for years. I don't much like the breathing noises. When the instructor says, "exhale," I think about all the other breaths-- colds, viruses, whatever-- entering the roomful of air I share. The directive to breathe through the soles of my feet leaves me baffled. The command to pull my naval to my spine-- I wish!-- makes me feel . . . plump. I have left/right problems, and I breath in when I should breath out.

But I go to yoga classes for the stretching, the delicious feeling when my spine loosens, the feeling of limberness, the tightening of my muscles as I hold a pose, the deep relaxation at the end of the class . . . this I relish.

At the end of this session, we rested on our mats. The instructor covered each of us with a blanket, mellow music flowed, candle light flickered, and I felt myself relax.

Then the hot flash began. I decided not to fling off the blanket (or my clothes) as I'd have done at home in bed. Instead, I practiced serenity . . . inhale cool, exhale heat. Forget that you're burning up, I told myself. Relax. And then King Richard began to snore. Not the gutteral ocean breath, but something akin to muck being sucked down a drain. And with it went my peace.

Tomorrow I'll use the $50 complimentary tickets at the King Richard's Faire.
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. ~Author Unknown


Ross Eldridge said...

Hi there, Ruth,

In the photograph, "King Richard" is dolled up much the way the "Three Kings" of the Nativity were in the posher Christmas pageants ... If you like a lot of fancy clobber ... it's good to be King.

However, I'm picturing him in a leotard for the yoga class. NOT. My imagimation ain't that good. I could just manage Bermuda shorts.

I had no idea that yoga classes included candles and blankets and down time. Somehow, I kind of thought it would be scrawny old birds like Madonna doing the splits.

I appreciate the result of all the stretching and exercise on the "King". I used to do weekly hypnotherapy relaxation sessions and I often fell asleep ... and not in the "deep deep deep" fashion the hypnotist intended ... but a nice kip.

My only experience of sitting cross-legged on a mat was in the Bhaktivedanta Hare Krishna Temple outside London ... for several hours. Ouch! It's now comfy sofas and recliner chairs for me! And Madonna videos on 4-Music.


Janice Thomson said...

Let's hope he is a better actor than breather LOL
I've never done yoga but I do practice Tai Chi every day - I love its graceful soothing movements.

Pauline said...

This whole piece made me laugh out loud, from the opening sentence to the muck-going-down-the-drain snores. The noises I make when I attempt yoga are not in the least ladylike so I do all my poses at home alone in front of the video player...

RiverPoet said...

Oh Ruth! That's hilarious!!!

There's nothing worse than being in savasana and not being able to relax...

Peace - D

Barbara said...

I'm glad King Richard is compensating you for his noisiness. Breath is so essential in yoga. After all, that's what it's all about!

Greg C said...

Ruth that last paragraph cracked me up. The fling of the blanket, the sound of snoring, and the loss of peace. Sounds so familiar. I can just imagine all this happening.

Ruth D~ said...

Ross~ Madonna? Seriously? You;re such a guy!

Janice~ I tried tai chi once and found it slow. That was during my period of needing to sweat to feel that I'd accomplished something. Now, I might see things differently.

Pauline! I should dig out my old yoga videos, or buy some new DVDs. And breathe!

Barbara~ I know, I know. But I'm not going to be the only one . . . besides King Richard.

River~Today's class has a man that continued to snore as the rest of us rolled up our mats. What's with these men?

Greg~ It sounds like a normal night in the marital bed. :>)

Lisa said...

That is so cool that you're doing Yoga classes again, Ruth. I'm so sad to have moved away from The Center. I haven't been to a class since.

I hope you have fun at the Faire! I went many years ago with a teacher friend who had free tickets. That's the only way I'd be able to afford to go, since it's hella-expensive! I look forward to seeing your pictures from it.

Tere said...

This had me cracking up.

I have tried taking yoga classes and cannot get out of my head long enough to really get into everything. Downward Dog - why dog? Why not Downward Deer? Or maybe . . . oops, I missed what she said to do next. And it was hard. I HATED it while I was doing it but it really kept me toned and flexible. I loved the last paragraph. So funny.

Rozel said...

That is very funny! My husband is usually the only man in my Step class.

sc morgan said...

Ruth-- I loved this one. I could just see you coming up from a stretch only to have this man's gob staring you in the face. Very funny.

I hope he was wearing the crown during the yoga session. In fact, I see him in the whole outfit. ;-)

I suppose, you'll always picture him in yoga clothes when you see him onstage. I love it when people in my world appear "out of context."

Wanda said...

Oh my goodness, when I leave for a few days do I ever miss the best posts.

This was hilarious, Ruth... Oh my sides hurt. I've never tried Yoga, but my exercise program is full of grunts, and other noises.

How fun to get tickets to the King Richard's Faire.


Jo said...

LOL, it sounds to me as if you have earned those tickets!

Go and enjoy!

leslie said...

You got me laughing here, Ruth! I think I'd end up falling asleep too. But imagine his embarrassment (or maybe not) when he awoke and found out he'd been snoring! But lucky YOU for snaring those tickets! Enjoy!