Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Yoga and other stuff

I’ve just had my second yoga class in Yogam, and have to say I’m pretty pleased. The studio is in a traditional Madrid apartment block bang in the middle of Calle Huertas, in the super-old neighbourhood, El barrio de las letras (arts neighbourhood), so named because it was a haunt of many Spanish literary luminaries like Quevedo and Lope de Vega and is now an atmospheric little area, home to quaint little bars and shops selling all sorts of stuff from antique maps to hand-blown glass. This district is just a 10 minute walk from where I live but for some reason I don’t go there much any more and had forgotten how pleasant it was. Well, all that’s about to change, as I’m going to be frequenting it for my yoga classes on a weekly basis. It’ll be the perfect excuse to explore a little further – I’ve even spotted a really nice ice-cream parlour right next to the yoga place – so I can see that my attempts at healthy living are going to be in constant risk of collapse! I took some photos of some shops and shopfronts while I was there as I'm kind of fascinated by Madrid shopfronts. I've posted them, though unfortunately I still have no idea of how to take decent pics, despite the new camera. Practise, practice.

Possible the prettiest garde centre in Spain

You've got to love 'alimentación' shops - floor-to-ceiling tins of tuna, lentils and crisps.
Pretty, pretty glass

Anyway, back to the yoga. The teacher, Estela, is one of those people that just ‘look’ like they do yoga – she’s all lean and willowy with flowing grey-blonde locks and amazing posture. She’s also a psychologist, and I’m surprised at some of the insights she’s been able to make in just a couple of classes. ‘Coge espacio, que no tengas miedo’ is one of the things she keeps saying to me (take up some space, don’t be afraid), and she means this in both the physical sense (in the classes but also elsewhere, let’s just say that even sleeping alone in my huge bed, I barely occupy more than a quarter of it!) and in the metaphorical sense. She was quick to be aware of how I sometimes try not to bother people or tread on their toes. Something which sounds like quite a good personal quality, but which has actually been detrimental to me on many occasions, as it can make me tend to put other people’s needs before my own. Interesting stuff.


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