There’s a new teacher in Saffy’s yoga studio and he is, in her words, sizzling.
“Let’s start with the fact that he’s Spanish!” she said at coffee after a particularly satisfying session of downward dogs with Javier. “Which means he’s got the sexiest accent. Plus he’s got a voice that makes me forget I’m already happily attached!”
Sharyn looked up from her carrot cake. “Yah, boy. Damn sexy. Half the time I don’t understand what he say, but I don’t care. Just keep talking to me hor, Saffy?”
Saffy’s bosom puffed up. “Totally.”
To hear the girls tell it, Javier is a walking hormone. Apparently, attendance in the studio has doubled with a waiting list that’s as long as the one for Botox at Woffles Wu’s clinic.
“He’s very good, too,” Saffy told Amanda. “But there was a moment today when he was demonstrating a handstand? And his shirt fell away from his pants and showed his belly? Lord. I thought I was going to pass out!”
“You know ah,” Sharyn said, “today, I finally understand why some girls become SPG!”
Amanda later said she didn’t like it that Sharyn was looking at her when she made that quip. “She doesn’t think I’m an SPG, does she?”
Saffy, whose policy in life is to avoid lying where humanly possible — apparently a real test of character if you work in HR like she does — coughed and changed the subject to that evening’s dinner plans.
The subject of Javier’s heat rating, though, continued unabated over the next few days. “Someone should do a calendar of the hottest yoga teachers in Singapore,” Saffy said. “I vote Javier for January!”
“There’s one teacher at Como Shambhala who would qualify for February,” Amanda said, “but that’s about it. What about you, Jason?”
I told her that Yoga Kalari only had one male teacher, my beloved Master, and he probably would demand an entire calendar to be devoted to him. “When he’s not dancing in the rain or jigging Bollywood moves, he’s channelling Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction," I said.
Saffy clapped her hands. “Oh, the other thing that Javier does before each class is that he sets a theme for the practice. Today, it was gratitude. He asked us to think about what we’re grateful for and to dedicate our postures to it.”
Amanda looked doubtful. “And that works?"
Saffy’s bosom inflated. “Well, when he said it to us in that sexy Spanish accent, it most certainly did.”
Apparently, Saffy decided she was grateful for the fact she had all her teeth, unlike her wicked stepmother who had hers all knocked out when she tripped in her bathroom. And as she progressed through the various postures, she added her gratitude for the fact she had both her legs, unlike her cousin Michael who’d had a double amputation on account of a skydiving accident.
During her pigeon pose, she told herself she was grateful she had a nice healthy balance in her CPF account. When easing into the lizard pose, she expressed gratitude for laksa which somehow segued into gratitude for PM Lee Hsien Loong and the PAP.
And by the time Javier was leading the class into a headstand, she was silently thanking the universe for her best friend, Sharyn. By which point she had become so emotional at her good fortune, she began weeping. In no time at all, her forehead was wet.
“It’s an odd thing to be crying upside down!” she later reported. “Have you ever tried it?”
Amanda and I admitted that we had not.
“I’ve never felt anything like it,” Saffy mused. “I tell you, I’ve had a lot of yoga teachers in my life, but that Javier is really something else.”
At the next session, the dedication was compassion, an emotion Saffy later admitted was not her strongest point. At least, that’s what she thought, but Javier pointed out that it was important to feel compassion not just to others but to yourself.
“You have to be kind to yourself and forgive yourself. Let go and embrace yourself!” he exhorted the class which, by now, was so besotted by him that if he’d asked them to eat hair, they probably would have.
It’s no surprise to learn that by the time they were doing a three-legged dog, Saffy was in full flood.
“I am completely transformed!” she declared that night at dinner at Chomp Chomp. “I feel so much love for the whole world!”
Amanda later remarked it really amused her that Saffy’s universal compassion lasted till the moment she learnt her favourite barbequed stingray stall had closed.