“Push your glutes down, stretch the arms, stretch, stretch… this is very good for the spine. Are the legs burning? Come on, whose thigh muscles are hurting…hold it, hold it…..eight, seven, six, and five…..”
A moan rose from the sweaty bodies positioned around the high ceiling hall on colorful yoga mats. The air reeked of tentative optimism and personal neglect. Having devoted their prime to nurturing families, these women had finally decided to show themselves love before their frames turned too porous. They hoped that a gravity defying lift would happen: to the uterus, the underarms, and the morale.
“Rimmi, my husband is going to bless you if you can teach me salsa. He is an excellent dancer and I am such a bad partner, I just feel so terrible” Manya was one of those sponge students, soaking her instructor in toto. Her gaze did not once waver from the yogi’s crafted body and she pushed herself, absorbing every single word, painstakingly following instructions down to the last turn and twist.
“I am not able to practice at home; why don’t you give us homework Rimmi? Should we do three Suryanamaskars over the weekend?” her dependence on the instructor for direction and discipline was childlike. Their constant exchange interrupted everyone’s rhythm but the group plodded on. They shared an unspoken empathy borne of having survived life’s unending wear and tear.
“Shucks, I always forget to carry my napkin and water. Rimmi, my arms were aching over the weekend but the Husband’s Night is approaching and I am really looking forward to it this time” there was no abating Manya’s refrain for validation. “Did you try Bikram’s Hot Yoga this time on your trip to the US? Goodness, looking at you, no one would believe you had two caesareans!”
For over an hour, the hall would thrum with hissing breaths, groaning joints and swiping towels. “Keep the heart rate up but don’t hurt your back, bend from the hip…..slowly roll up” Rimmi had the group in a trance with her steady pace and even manner. “I am launching my website soon ladies, you can check out the exercises there” she had the physical fluency to talk while in a “Bakasana”.
“What inspired you Rimmi, to take up physical fitness. You look so fit, not an inch extra anywhere?” Manya was the quickest to roll her mat, drain the water bottle into her mouth and gather up her belongings.
“My parents!” Rimmi answered, unplugging the music system from the wall socket. “Here, let me show you their picture, I always carry it with me.” Diving into her bag, she pulled out a six inches by four inches laminated photograph. The others hung back politely as Manya craned her neck familiarly. “Ouch!” she crushed more than a toe on the hasty step back. The rest moved forward, frowning. There was silence as they viewed the smiling couple settled comfortably on an elegant sofa in a tastefully done up living room.
“My Dad is 130 Kg and Mum is stable at 98 Kg!” Rimmi’s tone was rueful.