Friday, October 1, 2010

The yoga lessons continue

Twice this week, I've joined Mr. Singh for the last 30 minutes of his two-hour yoga routine on the front porch. I take my turquoise vinyl exercise mat and place it next to his prayer rug along with a mug of coffee. There's a cacophany of sound in those early morning hours - the birds are merrily singing, there's some hammering in the distance and traffic on Tchoupitoulas is starting up.

Strange morning excercises
Mr. Singh practices a number of  movements I'd not seen before - sort of a face-rubbing exercise, accompanied by simulated hand washing, waving his arms and rhythmic clapping. We stretch our toes, rotate our ankles and bend over backwards.

He makes a hitchhiker thumb and slowly moves his outstretched arm to one side and then the other, focusing on his thumb with one eye. (I assume this improves peripheral vision.) Then there are a couple of head rolls and shoulder rolls, as well as sitting like a frog. He says I don't do the exercises right, but "it will be better."

Then Mr. Singh laughs raucously, startling a dog walker, though not the dog. I guess it is a good idea to practice laughing, so you can be ready to do it at a moment's notice.

Mrs. Singh came outside to take a look. She was wearing a sari and not prepared to sit down on the mat. She speaks only Hindi, so doesn't make a lot of conversation. Later, his son came out and wasn't the least surprised to find a neighbor cross-legged on the front porch.

Samie strolled across the street to check us out.  Mr. Singh said: "Your cat is coming." Samie did her own yoga moves - sticking one foot straight out front while balancing precariously on her hind quarters and then placing her foot all the way behind her head to lick the inside of her thigh.  Samie's expert at this complicated move and does it several times a day.

Finally, we practiced the corpse, and that's the easiest thing to do.


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