In my right element
I’ve always loved sports: playing, watching it, talking about it. When I was living in Australia swapped basketball (which I had been playing since I was 11) to long distance running and hitting the gym. Worked fine for me, especially the running.
In China, however, running simply has not been that fun. And I tend to get bored with gyms. So, last night I decided I’m ought to try something different, namely hot yoga.
I’m not completely new to the hot yoga scene. Back in 2007 (when I was living in Shanghai) I tried it, thought it might be good for someone lacking any kinds of natural flexibility skills, and bought an expensive card, which I only half-heartedly used. This time I decided to be a bit smarter about things. I went to a yoga club, negotiated the membership fees and was told I could try a class and then decide afterwards if I wanted to join or not. If I wanted to join, that class would be free. If not, I would have to pay for it.
The young Chinese people behind the reception desk were super nice and friendly as we were talking, and last night I went in for a class.
Since I am not completely new to hot yoga (however, I am terrible at it, so people might as well think so when they see me strike a pose) I thought the one hour class was going to be fun.
Something went wrong, however, starting from the very beginning. I felt dizzy, ill, my feet and toes (yeah, toes?! I mean, come on!) were cramping up and for a while I was about to pass out (I have fainted numerous times in my life so I have learned to recognize the signs). After struggling for 30 minutes I decided to leave, apologized to the instructor (who was great, my bad state of health had nothing to do with him) and snuck out. I felt a bit bummed about it, but it’s always best to listen to your body.
Then I got to the reception, where I realized that the oh-so-friendly people were in fact glaring at me as I came walking.
-I didn’t feel so well so I decided to leave, I said.
-You have to pay.
-Yes, of course I will.
I paid in silence. Not another word. No talk about membership, about why I was not feeling well, about anything. Not even a goodbye when I left!
I left feeling rather stunned. They, who had been so super friendly suddenly behaved as if I was invisible, just because I left before the class ended (and, because I obviously would not be purchasing any membership card that night). Man, they sure have something to learn about customer service over here.
I decided about then and there that maybe yoga isn’t for me after all. Not only because of the way those fake friendly reception people treated me or because I felt bad during a class, but simply because, well… running is still more simple and straight-forward. Dear treadmill, here I come.