Working at the same time as being an au pair is quite a challenge. I am currently living in France, living with a lovely family and looking after their two young children mornings and evenings around my working day. As you can imagine, I don't have very much free time! Back at home in the UK, I am usually a very active person, in the gym as many times a week as possible and training in karate as well. So while being an au pair is an incredible experience and has helped me improved my language skills no end, not having free time to work up a sweat has been quite hard to accept. I do however, have one evening a week to escape! The only class that I could find in the area that I could attend was a yoga class. Great, I thought: not physically challenging but some time to myself to relax during the week.
So, I signed up and went along to my first class. And what an experience it was! Firstly, we were asked to close our eyes to begin the session – but this was not as relaxing as I had anticipated. Well, I think everyone else was relaxed, but I was so focused on understanding what the teacher was saying (as well as keeping one eye open to make sure I wasn't doing anything drastically different from everybody else!) that I couldn't entirely unwind. Secondly, I found that yoga can actually be quite challenging! Some of the positions that we were doing were really quite tricky to master. Right at the end of the class, there was a full relaxation which involved lying down, covering yourself with a blanket and closing your eyes. Unfortunately, I fell asleep … I woke up to find everyone else already sat up and ready to go, and a few were pointing at me – I don't think I have ever sat up so quickly in my life! How embarrassing!
Since then, I have got over my shame and have been every week. As my French has improved, so has my ability to relax during the class as I can focus more on the yoga itself rather than what the teacher is saying. Also, my body parts vocabulary has improved drastically, so that's another bonus!
Have you ever done a sport in another country?