On the home stretch: Yoga

I have decided that I am going to make a goal of blogging more frequently…. I am hoping that this will give everyone much more of a sense of what our life is like here. Peace Corps is not just about going to live in another country… but more about the day-to-day interactions with the culture and the people. So I have a couple of ideas on how to bring more Morocco to this blog but we will just have to test it out!

A shorter post today since Toubkalla was a bit lengthy… I do have to amend one fact though it did in fact take us between 16 and 17 hours the second day, I was thinking and realized that 14 was wayyyy to short. We were definitely walking almost the entire day but I forget the breakdown of the hours :(. Sorry about that!

Anyway now that we are in the last 7 months of our service… I wanted to talk about teaching yoga! In my own practice, I am a beginner/ close to intermediate but since the arriving in Larache,  it was something I wanted to share with my women. Especially with my 3x per week women’s class! I wasn’t sure how to bring it up (self-promotion sometimes freaks me out) and then a fellow PCV was visiting and she mentioned it for me! Problem solved! My teacher then asked me if I would start doing 20 minutes of yoga during the class.. OF COURSE!!!! She even invited me to teach at another location, where her sister taught the workout class! So exciting!!! But of course… it began to drop off. After we went on vacation, I only led a short ten minute session sometimes. However, by this point I had gained some confidence both in my Arabic to teach the class but also to lead a good flow! So…. I walked into a place I had been eye ballin’ for over a year and by eye ballin’ I mean almost stalkng/drool coming out sometimes. All-in-all not a pretty picture.

What is this place you may ask? It is a local gym, that is absolutely fabulous! It costs about 250 dirhams a month, has treadmills, strength machines, spinning bikes- THE WORKS! But 250 dhs is WAYYYYYY outside the Peace Corps budget. So I knew there was no way I could join the gym… but teach for free and maybe use the equipment? A possibility! It can’t hurt to ask! The Men’s days are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and the Women’s Days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On a day that was a man’s day, I gathered enough courage and walked in (the door is closed on the women’s days and it was always too intimidating to ring the bell) and asked to speak to the owner (who speaks a little English) and told him I could teach yoga for free!!! He said to come the NEXT MORNING!!!!!!!!!! Very* exciting (bonus! he said that I could use the equipment when I wanted!)…. it was a little difficult to work out the schedule at first and then of course came Ramadan… but now it has started up again and I am teaching 30 minute sessions 3 times per week! I don’t have consistency  with attendance with that class yet but my other class has started to…. ASK for yoga during the regular workout time! I know! Very exciting!

I am sharing as much as I can about the practice, breathing, clearing the mind, inviting one’s body to accept the position. Although, it is often difficult to explain. Yesterday, I told my class that we were going to do some imagery and a girl asked me what that was…. woof. There was no way that I could explain it in detail in Arabic so I attempted to do what I could and she seemed to grasp the idea….kind of.

It has been such a great experience teaching yoga because I can already see some of the women begin to improve. It has also provided me with some consistency in my schedule – the summer was a bit dead with everything other than my workout classes- and gives me something to look forward to every week.

I did find another gym in Larache when I was in the taxi the other day… this is another drool-worthy gym but I have yet to decide if I have enough room in my schedule… I will probably go for it, I mean, why not? Go big or go home, right? If I don’t do it now, I will probably never know!

P.S. I wanted to use a yoga pun as a title, but for some reason, couldn’t think/find one! Does anyone know of a good one?


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