Day 217: My Spanish Meditation
Written on April 5, 2019
I would like to begin by saying that I am ALL about practicing mindfulness, meditation, and or prayer in which ever method makes you feel the most fulfilled and relaxed!
I just had to share my experience stumbling into a meditation class with my German and French roommates.
The girls had been raving about the free yoga classes they have been attending at a local community cultural space near Plaza de España. So, earlier this week, I joined them to go to this awesome free class (because who wouldn’t want a free yoga class in a beautiful space??)
During the commute to the class, I was feeling pretty hesitant. I had gone to the gym earlier that day (it was chest and biceps day) so I was afraid that I would fall on my face if I tried to attempt a downward-dog with my jelly arms. We finally arrived to the space, 45-minutes before the class started, walked up to the ticket counter and the gentleman behind the counter told us he just ran out of tickets… FIVE minutes prior to our arrival.
Me on the outside: “OH NO! I was really looking forward to this!!”
Me on the inside: I mean… no yoga means that I can lay in bed, rest my aching body, and not potentially break my neck in a, so called, “beginner” pose.
Just my luck, a small group had formed who also did not get a seat for the class and someone suggested another location. Madre mía. We decided to go to a place that advertised yoga in the Lavapiés neighborhood. Once we arrived, we were directed to a small dimly lit room in the back of the building. You could tell that my roommates were feeling a little uncertain. I was mostly intrigued by the small smiling man who greeted us when we walked in.
We explained that we were here for yoga. “No, meditación.” he replied, still smiling with his hands clasped in front of his chest.
We hesitated, looked at each other, and a man who had joined our yoga rejects group asked again if this was yoga. “No, esto es meditación.” the smiling man said again, with the same calm demeanor.
No moving or attempting to contort myself into crazy positions? I was IN!
I convinced everyone to stay for the sake of a new experience. To our surprise, the small room began to fill with people of all different ages. Thirty minutes later, the class began.
First off, this was another “Wow, I actually speak Spanish now” moment for me. I was concerned at first participating in a yoga or meditation session with the fear that I would not understand what was I expected to do or understand the technical vocabulary. I could actually understand the instructor. He was just so peaceful and happy to be leading this session. I could tell that the room was filled with regulars; the room was absolutely silent.
Which isn’t the best thing if you’ve never done meditation in a large group. Both of my roommates were new to it and very giggly. Which, of course made ME giggle in a much more obvious way. However, 5 minutes into the session we had all calmed down.
We started by focusing on our breathing, and then we thought about the things that made us upset and happy, then were instructed to stand up and mindfully walk around the hallway. I was beginning to lose a bit of focus and started walking backwards, forwards, hopping from foot to foot, and stretching out each leg as if I was a wanna-be Misty Copeland. (My antics must’ve been impressive because one of my roommates asked if I was a ballerina in the US)
After the mindful walking, we return to our places in the room and finished with standing and sitting meditation. This time, it was a little more difficult because someone was constantly whistling out in the hallways. The whistling went on for about 10 minutes when someone starting yelling at the whistler, Cállate! The whistling paused but then resumed. Class ended and as we were leaving I heard the whistling right behind me. I turned around and saw a covered cage. It clicked… it was the PARROT this entire time!!
When we filtered out into the streets you could hear a few people mimicking the bird as we all went our separate ways. Overall, I enjoyed the class and left feeling relaxed and hungry. The three of us resolved to treat ourselves to a giant lasagna that evening. Like I said, it was an experience!