CHENNAI: Zoom Zumba. Vinyasa flow on Insta live. Arm Wobble Blast on WhatsApp. Online workouts are the norm now thanks to the pandemic. I won’t lie, I resisted this strongly. Especially in summer when the lockdown was on, the children were at home, and we were all trying to balance house work and WFH.
The very thought of finding the time and energy to fit in a Hatha Yoga class in the middle of everything else seemed too much. But as the months passed by and it seemed unlikely things were going to go back to ‘normal’ any time soon, I finally gave in and signed up for online yoga classes. B.C. (Before Corona), my yoga teacher would come home once everyone left for school and work.
The only disturbance was the dog who would either commandeer the yoga mat to practise some asanas of his own (I’d like to say downward dog, but mostly Shavasana) or sniff weird body parts (mine and his!) . But those days of awkwardly trying to balance on one foot while the dog shoved his nose in my crotch are long gone. I have worse problems now.
First of all, finding a place to do class is next to impossible. Every room in the house is almost always in use for a meeting or an online class. So, I tried the balcony. Guess what, even the sight of me trying to do bakasana wasn’t enough to frighten away the plague of pigeons who live there rent-free. In fact, they seemed to enjoy the free entertainment I provided so much, they turned up the next day around the same time. Next, I’m never sure which instructions are intended for me.
‘Keep your eyes open!’ ‘But Sir, didn’t you just tell me to close my eyes and think of a wide, deep blue sky?’ Oh okay, that was the 4th graders English teacher telling someone off ! Wait, was she telling my kid to keep their eyes open? Is he sleeping during online school? There goes my deep relaxation. But online school can be helpful at other times. The other day, I could hear my seventh grader being asked to identify parts of the digestive system.
I kept an ear open for the answers, because I’m often asked to relax my pancreas and liver during yoga, and I’m never sure if I’m unclenching the right organ. Let’s be real now, one part of me will always be tightly clenched, the other parts have some hope. Then there’s the embarrassment of inadvertently becoming an exhibit during online school. Last week, I was unsuccessfully trying to touch my toes and touch my forehead to my knees, when I heard some tittering and ‘Hi Aunty’ type comments in the background. I realised that my son had come out with his webcam on to show the entire grade our dog. Of course, the dog had his nose in my butt.
Then there’s having to listen to your partner conduct webinars and do team calls while you’re trying to focus on your kundalini chakra. Or something. I’m planning to make a meditation tape of my husband saying ‘Let’s deep dive into thisshall we circle back later-360 degree appraisal’ and other jargon to help me awaken my chakras. Till I figure some of these out, online yoga class has been put on hold. I’m telling myself, typing this article out has helped me burn just as many calories. Or something.
The writer’s philosophy is: if there’s no blood, don’t call me