Larissa the Greek

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Gym, Yoga
Tags: ,

I had a very random, positive encounter the other day at the gym.  I showed up at the usual 6:30pm time with my bright orange matt and my typical flagrant let’s ‘get-er-done’ approach to yoga ready for the daily class when, low and behold, no other mats…no ladies…no leotard…no instructor…no class.  Curses!  Unbeknownst to me, the class start times had changed somewhat for the new season and so I had, in fact, shown up an hour late and had, therefore, missed the class.  Boo-urns.

The lane swim didn’t start for another hour or so and I had no running shoes with me, nor anything else to do really in the meantime so I figured I’d make the best of it and try going it free-style on my own.  Now, although I do enjoy and frequent the offered classes at the YMCA and, when I’m feeling really daring, Yoga by Sarah, I typically only practice in the privacy of my own back porch, safely hidden away from scrutinizing eyes as I don’t figure I’m very flattering to look at when I’m all stretched out in my King of the Dance pose; consider this my part in “Keeping Ontario Beautiful”.  So I laid out my matt and got down to the business of humiliating myself by going through some flows all willy-nilly like; except that I don’t really flow so much as I spew forth.  I’m more like a yoga tsunami.

As I began to fumble about and flop around on my matt another lady appeared with the same puzzled expression on her face that I probably had.  “Eez ‘der no class?” she asked.  “Unfortunately not, it starts at 5:30pm now” I answered back from my downward dog. She looked around hesitantly, glanced at me for only a second and then proceeded to roll out her matt directly beside mine.  “Then I’ll just join you”, she declared, “Okeey?”

What the hell.

She introduced herself as ‘Larissa the Greek’ and I immediately felt better about the situation.  I mean, really, how often do you get to workout with someone like that?  Larissa is an older woman who speaks with a thick Mediterranean accent that hung on every vowel and consonant like over-ripe fruit on a vine.  If you closed your eyes you might as well be sipping Ouzo at a sidewalk café in Corfu; so much the better for doing yoga if you ask me.

It became abundantly clear that Larissa had more of a clue about what she was doing than I did and so she gently took the lead so that I could just follow and do my best to keep up and somehow manage to not snap my spine in half like dry kindling.  For the next 45 minutes Larissa coached me through an intensive core and yoga workout the likes of which might have made Madonna pack it in and head back to her castle.  She had me doing balance poses, strength routines, flexibility stretches, and so many freakin’ crunches that my abs are still on fire the next morning for Pete’s sake!  Ho-lee shit.  Hell, I even did a headstand – although it was fleeting at best.  She reminded me to breathe, how to better position myself to be comfortable, what to flex, what not to flex…it was great.  At one point she even had me scissor stretching my legs wide open if full view of God and everyone and I didn’t even care…who knew?  It felt awesome.

Long story short:  it was an amazing workout!  By the time she announced we were finished I had been reduced to a sweaty mound of heaving flesh, yet refreshed and invigorated and ready to tackle the pool.  It turns out that Larissa herself is a volunteer at the YMCA and often leads these classes herself so I will be looking for future opportunities to take advantage of her almost sadomasochistic approach to core.  And now that I have a standing invite to join her even if it’s just the two of us, I will definitely be taking her up on the offer.

Thanks Larissa!

  1. Carolyn H. says:

    I like Larissa the Greek!

  2. Jan says:

    Wow what an experience! Would you do that “King of the Dance” pose at work for me Terry? YOU are one fantabulous, comedic, detailed writer!! I love your “stuff.”

  3. HeatherJ says:

    What a cute lil’ story! I loved this post! Aren’t random awesome things like that just, well, awesome?? Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today…. Keep spewing forth dear friend…lol

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