The first time I took a yoga class in Sweden was quite memorable. I just walked right in to the place like I knew exactly what I was doing. I arrived early, picked my spot, unrolled my mat and started pre-stretching, as I knew from experience that being over a certain age requires a bit of pre-stretching. It wasn't until the class was just about to begin that it suddenly dawned on me that the class would be taught in Swedish. Of course it would, I live in Sweden. Great. A look of deer caught in the headlights overtook me.
In my boldness to pick a spot near the front of the room, it would have been uncomfortable to pick up my mat and leave at that point. So I braced myself and decided I would stick it out. I mean, it was just a yoga class after all. I could survive that, right? I would just have to crane my neck around as the class progressed to make sure I knew when to change positions. I guess you could say that I learned a new yoga pose during that class. A pose I like to call "the crane pose." And since I spent most of the class craning my neck around, I feel that I became quite proficient at it.
I came away with a few survival tricks that first class as well (yes, I did in fact go back). Being at the front of the room turned out to have its advantages. I found that while bent over in certain poses, I could peek between my legs or under my arm without having to do the crane pose and I could see when to switch to something else. I could pretend that I actually understood the Swedish.
In the end I feel it was quite brave to have stuck it out. Why I thought, or rather, did not consider the fact that the class would be taught in Swedish is beyond me. I still found it relaxing and enjoyable, despite the additional "crane poses" that were thrown in. But then again, my crane pose would not have become so perfected otherwise.