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Downward facing DOG

Last week, AAH went off to the gym in the early evening and stayed there suspiciously late. When she finally came home she announced she’d met a friend and they’d decided to go to a Hot Yoga class that was just starting.

Hot Yoga is the hott new thing in here in Niceland. And if you know the Nicelanders, you will know that are absolute total suckers for the hott new thing – whatever it may be. Cuz it changes. Frequently. One day it’s electric foot massagers. The next day it’s leather sofa sets. The next day it’s American beds. The next day it’s playing the stock market. The next day it’s taking currency basket loans. The next day it’s buying banks and using them to finance your own risky ventures worldwide. And whatever it is at any given time – EVERYBODY’S DOING IT. And those who aren’t doing it, are wishing they were doing it because EVERYBODY ELSE IS.

Anyway, the hott new thing now is Hot Yoga. So AAH and I go off to the gym tonight and the class was scheduled to start at 8 pm, and by 20 minutes to 8 the whole yoga studio is full – well, except for two mats, which AAH and YT managed to grab [heheh]. So we sit there and wait and sit and wait, and people come in and see the room is stuffed full and they go get mats anyway and stuff themselves in there. And the most bizarre thing about all this is that Icelanders are NEVER that early for anything – they’re ALWAYS at the last minute. Which just goes to prove just hot hott this Hot Yoga thing really is.

Right, so AAH has mentioned that the teacher is “this American chick” who keeps saying “into the dog, into the dog”. Hm. Okay. So suddenly this girl at the front turns around and just starts talking in this thick Californian accent without even acknowledging that, like, she’s in a different language zone altogether. Not even a single nod, like “hi, sorry I don’t speak your language, so I hope you can understand mine!” She’s just all extended nasal vowels and rising inflections, and every two minutes commanding us to go “into the downward facing DOG” – with that long, drawn-out vowel on DOG. And I’m like, this is totally surreal. ‘Cause this chick is talkin’ Californian and acting like that’s perfectly normal and everybody in this room is doing everything she says and acting like it’s perfectly normal, too.

So on the way home I mention this to AAH and she’s like, “pfft yeah, I didn’t really understand any of what she said except DOWNWARD FACING DOG”. And I thought to myself, wow neither did I, come to think of it. Maybe nobody did.

Anyway, the hott yoga thing was pretty overrated in my opinion, but maybe that was because it wasn’t really all that hot. Apparently [so AAH learned in the last class] they’re waiting for these space heaters to arrive from the States and it’s supposed to be a lot hotter [which I’m not sure is something to look forward to cause it was pretty sweaty and clammy in there]. The positions were all pretty familiar [especially DOWNWARD FACING DOG] from other yoga classes I’ve taken in the past, only in the past there has been plenty of time given over to the last position, which I believe goes by the delightful name of “the cadaver” – i.e. when you lie under a blanket and have a little snooze at the end. Maybe when hott yoga is really hot it’s too hot to play the cadaver, who knows. At any rate, I could have used a little rest at the end after all those downward facing doggie positions.

And look! I managed to get through a whole post without once mentioning the krepp … D’OH!!!

RAIN AND WIND
Otherwise known as autumn in Iceland. It’s been blustery all day with occasional showers, nothing too heavy, though. Mild temps. Right now 11°C [52F]. Sunrise at 6.52, sunset at 7.51.

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  • Jessica September 17, 2009, 12:43 am

    Just be glad it was a California accent and not a Texas or Alabama or Kentucky accent… those accents don’t even sound like English sometimes.

  • tmcd September 17, 2009, 12:45 am

    🙂 Funny tale.

  • elín September 17, 2009, 12:51 am

    Well, then. That explains the Hot Yoga, Iceland group that keeps popping up in my FB highlights. Good ta know 🙂

  • Jessie September 17, 2009, 1:38 am

    Haha, I think I know which instructor you’re referring to (I mean, how many can there be?). Your post made me chuckle because I briefly toyed with the idea of teaching yoga in Iceland, but as an Amer’can who doesn’t speak Icelandic fluently, I didn’t see this as an option. Has Iceland reached the pilates craze yet? Because maybe I could do that 🙂

  • Alexander E. September 17, 2009, 2:35 am

    Hott! Absolutely! 🙂

  • Sólveig September 17, 2009, 3:19 am

    I love hot yoga and have been doing it for years (in Canada). I’m sure there’s lots of other forms of exercise that would work to, but for my particular back problems it’s wonderful and a complete exercise package – and a new studio is only 2 minutes away from my house – walking! However, there’s different kinds of hot yoga. I do Bikram’s hot yoga which obviously you guys are not doing because there is no downward facing dog there 🙂 that being said, I’m super happy there’s now a hot yoga option in Iceland because I definitely intend to sign up when I move back next year!

    Oh, and our hot yoga rooms are around 40°C with high humidity. After a couple of classes you don’t notice it anymore. I just started this yoga again after about a year off, have only done four classes and already I can feel a huge difference.

  • hildigunnur September 17, 2009, 10:45 am

    wow, I must be really out of it – never heard of this Hot Yoga thing. I thought the hip&cool thing was crossfit! (and no, I’m not doing crossfit classes) 😛

  • Gunnar D September 17, 2009, 12:11 pm

    I absoulutly recognize the FAD mentality of the Icelandic nation. I particulary remember one year when everybody on the island went blond. As an icelander living abroad it took me a day or two to realize this sudden change of apparance of an entire nation when I came visiting one summer.

  • Guðmundur September 17, 2009, 12:16 pm

    American accents, yeah. We always think we really *know* american english, ’cause we’ve been watching all them movies and sh*t. But then we meet actual people and get a reality check. I remember sitting in American History class down in Arkansas as an exchange student, listening to the teacher speak in a deep southern drawl, and I didn’t understand a word he said. It took me at least two weeks of daily classes to be able to catch the drift of what he was talking about.

    And everyone is doing crossfit. I’m always waiting for someone to market “sundfit”, that may just be the next big thing…

  • Dave September 17, 2009, 2:32 pm

    I have a friend who teaches yoga here in Texas (just be glad I’m typing this: none of you would understand my accent.) As befits a Texan yoga instructor, he is at least 70 pounds overweight.

  • alda September 17, 2009, 3:48 pm

    Heh. Thanks everyone.

    Yes, I noticed crossfit is also really popular, although it doesn’t seem to be getting the same sort of press as Hot Yoga (or maybe this is all just completely subjective).

    Jessie – yeah, I figure there can’t be too many. 😉 — and the pilates fad has come and gone, although it never really reached epic proportions here.

  • Dave Hambidge September 17, 2009, 5:38 pm

    Was mommy checking up on grown up daughter?

  • digdug727 September 17, 2009, 7:24 pm

    uhhh…excuse me, but i take umbrage at the negative comments about the Texas accent. while some of my west texas brethren might be a little verbally challenged, in actuality, they are still relatively easy to understand. it just takes them a little longer than most people are used to, to get around to what they are actually talking about. now, all y’all in central california….your language comes from another planet! 🙂
    doug
    austin, texas

  • ReallyEvilCanine September 17, 2009, 9:11 pm

    Bitchin’, DAWG! Is there going to be a version of this for the Wii?

    Jessica: those Kentucky and Alabama drawls and twangs with their super-flat vowels and odd triphthongs? That’s how the British used to speak. Many older British accents were preserved by those settlers in the Midwest. It would be hard to sound any more “English” unless, perhaps, you learned to tala íslensku.

  • Ann September 18, 2009, 6:04 am

    Really enjoyed your post, Alda. Big smile here, transplanted Georgian in California. Your humor is the best!

  • Nigel September 18, 2009, 7:52 pm

    Well I’m obviously going to have to try this Hot Yoga thing sometime, but at this stage (3+ years Ashtanga) it sounds like so much hot air to me. Sure, its good to get well-warmed up. But no one needs 40C! And this copyrighted Bikram stuff is just a joke. It’s not about which posture you can contort into, it’s about rhythm and control and focus and clearing your mind.

    Great story, anyway, as always Alda.

  • Rozanne September 26, 2009, 3:16 pm

    I took exactly one hot yoga class (Bikram). It was at least 40 C and sweat was literally dripping off of some of the male students, making the studio even more humid than it already was. I do not do well in extreme heat and humidity and left the class nauseated and with a raging headache. I never returned. That said, I do love normal temperature yoga.

    Anyway, pretty hilarious that the instructor seems to have made absolutely no adjustments to her teaching style for her Icelandic class. Actually, I’m not surprised.

    Also, “American beds” were a fad? How are our beds any different from the beds in Iceland?