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Jerry put his hands together, bowed his head to Kerleen, and returned the salutation. She was his yoga instructor, and tonight was the fifth session of his special, semi-private and very high-intensity advanced class.
He’d been studying yoga for several years, and with Kerleen for the last year and a half. She was an impressive yogini, 100% Indian ancestry although born in America. Her family connections worked well: she’d studied for several years with Iyengar himself in India. She was altogether quite a pretty woman in a quiet, very mature way — she was much older than he, and quite proper in both attire and demeanor.
Kerleen was a marvelous teacher, and he appreciated it enough to have complimented her, a rare thing for her because she was both imposing and intimidating. –She worked her classes mercilessly, but with humor and intense good grace. Just short of formal, even after all this time as his instructor.
She would demo a complex pose: her students would be appalled at the idea of even trying it. But then, one bend and one slow movement at a time, she would lead them into it and suddenly ‘Voila!’ they would find themselves balanced in a knot that held a reasonable resemblance to what she’d demonstrated.
Jerry found her amazing: she was tiny, perhaps five one at most and all of about 95 pounds… but 100% strong muscle. In her own practice, Kerleen was beyond a doubt the most flexible person he’d ever met, and her uncanny ability to discern hidden details of how to enable a student to improve or deepen a pose were legendary: her tiny hands would make feather-light touches here, and there, and when the body under instruction didn’t respond quite right, the lightness would disappear and the strength would come out. She could delicately yet forcefully rotate a student two or three times her weight into a better approximation of what she wanted.
The studio was small, wooden-floored, with ceiling fans and wall hooks for ropes and belts. A row of windows with their sills high off the floor provided light but allowed no outside-world distractions to intrude.
He looked around: there were three students enrolled in his semi-private, and he wasn’t particularly early, but so far this evening only he and Kerleen were present.
She smiled her gentle smile. “You get a private lesson tonight, Jerry. Both of the others called earlier and send their regrets: unavoidable conflicts that arose suddenly, and all that. Symptom of our times, I guess.”
Her voice was pretty, with a strong trace of lilting Hindi-accent and India-English singsong from her parents and her times in India. Her smile crinkled her face slightly: Jerry had always wondered about her skin – face and hands gave just a hint of a little too much sun long ago, but the darkness of her Dravidian ancestry hid much of that.
She continued, as he discarded shoes and street clothing into one of the bins: “So, since this will be by default a private lesson, how would you like to simply work along with me as I go through my own daily practice? It’s really quite intense, but I think you can keep up, and if not, then we’ll know exactly what to work on, won’t we?”
He was delighted. Semi-privates with Kerleen were expensive, and one-on-ones were ridiculously so. And it would be a privilege. He said so, and thanked her.
As they laid out their mats, she looked over at him and said “Please take off your shirt. You’ve made good progress, and tonight I want to see all the details in your skeleton and musculature as we work. I can learn a lot, and help you better, that way.”
It wasn’t an unusual request: she’d done this often before in class with others, although never with him.
She was dressed in her normal ultra-snug black leotard, legless and – he had noticed repeatedly, liner-less… more like a coat of paint than an exercise uniform. He did not complain or comment. The skin on her arms and legs was taut, showing little effect of her many years, and displaying her highly-toned muscles very well indeed. Her own body was her best teaching prop: she was forever illustrating using her own anatomy and abilities. When making some subtle point, she would even have a student lay hands on her to feel what happened in her body.
Hard to believe she had had several children. And, she had told the class once, many grandchildren. And even a couple of great-grandchildren: “My family tends to marry far too young! And after my husband died so many years ago, I resolved that enough was enough, never again!”
She had laughed.
Seventy-eight years old… which he knew because last year some of her long-time students had insisted on wishing her happy birthday during class. He might have guessed sixty-five, if that. It certainly made no difference, except as an impressive reminder of what strong, long-term practice could do for a person.
They stood side by side in tadasana. “Sun salutations. Ten of them. Follow at my pace.”
Good polatlı escort grief! Ten? As a warm-up? What had he agreed to anyhow?
They began in her classic fashion, slow, intense, entering fully and carefully into each pose, gradually adding both poses and speed.
By repetition six, they were going at Kerleen’s personal “full speed”, working faster than he had ever gone before, and Jerry was beginning to have trouble controlling his breathing. Kerleen could tell, and stepped out of the sequence to coach, as he continued through the next repetition, following her cadence.
She stood close beside him as he moved, put two fingertips on his spine between his shoulder blades, followed his motion to maintain the contact.
“Jerry, breathe in when I push, out when I release. You know the drill: let the breath control YOU, not the other way around. Get deep inside the flow of the air, and become one with it. Don’t force the flow, let it determine how it needs to proceed. Let the breath breathe YOU!”
He knew how to do that, relaxed his brain, disappeared into the airflow inside him, became one with it. It was almost a trance, with Kerleen’s quiet, simple instructions coming in, the world breathing HIM instead of the reverse.
Shortly, when his breathing was proper and had been for a few breaths, Kerleen rejoined him. After this “warm-up”, they worked poses. Simple at first, gradually more complex. At many points Kerleen stepped out of a pose and gave him detailed instructions.
Once, she had almost laughed as her fingers probed his ribcage, and told him “Diet notwithstanding, Jerry, you still have too much flesh on you for some asanas!”
He had been trying to change that—he was down a good twenty pounds, and much stronger and more flexible, thanks to her instruction.
When they finally slowed and stopped at the end of two hours they were wringing wet. There were even wet-spots on the floor beneath them. His thin nylon shorts were clinging to him almost embarrassingly closely, and her leotard was drenched and plastered down, showed every ripple of rib and spine. Not to mention nipples and areolas on her nearly non-existent breasts.
“You have done quite well, you know, since you started with me.”
He flushed: she almost NEVER said such a thing to a student… at least, he hadn’t heard her ever do so, and her reputation for skimpy praise was deserved.
“You’re greatly improved. You actually inspired me to overdo things a little tonight, and that’s good for someone my age, at least every once in awhile! Now for shavasana. Do you have time for half an hour in the pose?”
Corpse pose. The dessert for every session, the ultimate in relaxation.
Yes, he had plenty of time, the rest of the evening was free. He said so.
She nodded, said “Go ahead and begin, then. I’ll join you in a minute.”
She went through her normal end-of-class routine – the snap of the light switch and the solid thunk of the door lock. She was good about preventing any interruption during shavasana.
There was still plenty of late-evening light coming through the windows, cool and mellow. Rather nice. He lay down on a blanket and composed himself on his back, got things right, closed his eyes, began the process of consciously-unconscious relaxation. Scalp to toes, a wave, flowing.
From inside the process he heard her say “Here… I’m going to put an eye-bag on you this time.” The little flat sandbag settled over his eyes. He really didn’t need it and seldom used one, but it was cool and felt good. As usual, she was right in every little detail.
She padded past him, damp soles sticky on polished hardwood. He heard the bathroom door squeak as it opened. Moments later he heard her return and settle gently onto her mat, parallel to his.
Total quiet engulfed them. The studio was in a nearly traffic-free location to begin with, and the late hour made things even quieter.
Minutes passed. He’d never spent more than about ten in shavasana, but knew many yogis spent hours.
From the depths of his quietude, he heard tiny noises from her direction. Then there was something warm next to his sides just above the waistband of his clinging exercise shorts. Whatever the cause, the objects were not quite touching his skin, just radiating a gentle heat.
From above him, a whisper settled onto his consciousness like a gauze veil. “Stay just as you are.”
He did so, waiting, his self swimming upwards into the realm of thought, studying the situation. After a few moments, her voice reappeared, just barely audible, almost as if it were inside his own mind instead of coming in through his ears. It was the oddest sensation.
And very strange behavior: not since his very first class or two had any instructor ever talked during shavasana.
“Jerry, I’m watching your breathing again. You did well during the salutations, when your body needed a lot of oxygen. Now is a very different pursaklar escort time and you have very different needs. Your breathing has to change completely.”
A single fingertip touched each of his nipples: to his amazement, they sprang instantly erect, as if hit with ice-water. Normally they weren’t the least little bit sensitive. What was different this time?
The fingertips traced a line towards his sternum, met on his centerline, slid slowly down his belly as Kerleen continued to explain. “During relaxation, you should begin by feeling the flow of air through the body, as if it were a circle of energy instead of substance, flowing in a continuous loop rather than reversing direction.”
Her fingertips pressed on his belly just above the band of his shorts. He tried to feel what she was describing.
“Again, let the energy, let the air itself, be in charge. It knows what you need, don’t try to be in command. There should be a flow of energy from all the way down at your perineum up along your midline, deep inside.”
Her fingers went slowly back up along his midline, up his throat and the centerline of his face, until they stopped at the crown of his head. “… All the way to here. The nose is just the portal. Now… Pick a breathing rate and depth that you can maintain for a long time, because you are not to change it until I tell you to do so. Experiment, and then nod to me when you’ve settled on a breathing pace.”
Her fingers broke contact: the loss felt almost as if half of him had fled from inside his body. Most disconcerting, and very uncomfortable, almost a sadness.
Jerry experimented: his oxygen debt was almost repaid, so his breathing could be slow and very deep, but it had to be a bit more than minimal, so he wouldn’t need to speed up later. He knew enough not to hurry: Kerleen had taught him the patience to study himself from the inside. After a couple of minutes, he was convinced he had the right combination, and nodded.
Kerleen whispered “Good. Now, I’m going to match your rhythm. It’s not what I would need for myself, but you, too, will eventually learn to control your body’s influences over your behavior.”
She went silent: he flowed with his own breath now, it almost DID seem as if it were going in a circular path, as if the inhale-exhale cycle were a pump.
He couldn’t hear Kerleen at all, but he could feel her presence.
After another minute, Kerleen’s voice continued, soft as down, flowing through him. Now he could hear the rhythm of her breathing as she spoke: it matched his perfectly.
“Jerry, these bodies of ours…” Two fingertips touched his nipples, traced delicately down his ribs towards his navel. He almost jumped at the unexpected, feather-weight touch, but not quite.
She continued – “… these bodies which we work so hard to learn to control, these bodies are just vessels for the spirit within. For the soul. And they are temporary vessels at that, for something much more important and enduring than themselves. Something ageless and eternal, actually.”
“The goal of our physical practice is much more to understand and control the spirit within than mere control of the vessel — we learn spiritual control by learning to control the vessel in great detail.”
She paused for a long time, as if to let him consider what she’d said.
“There is much more to the spiritual side of humans than many people think. Each of us, each apparently individual soul, however unique or expansive we may think it to be, is only a minute manifestation of the underlying universal spirit or soul. And part of our own spirit’s goal is to return, to rejoin the underlying whole. If only for a moment at first. Hopefully, with practice, someday it will rejoin permanently.”
She paused once again.
“Jerry, there are ways of making that reunion happen. But it is impossible for most of us to make the journey alone. It takes a partner, a complementary soul, a teaming. It can be very, very hard to find the right soul to help one on the trip. Many people go through life never knowing that the trip is possible, much less finding a fellow-traveler and then actually making the journey”
She stopped. Jerry considered: it wasn’t so much the words as the underlying message that he was hearing. It washed through him like a light. He found, rather to his surprise, that it struck a very responsive chord — he would not have thought it could, since the message was largely mystical and he did not possess much of a streak of that.
Carefully, silently, he nodded his head gently, just once. He meant it as a signal of both agreement and interest in continuing, but he had nothing to say, being the pupil here.
Above him, Kerleen watched the nod. His silence and the delay were good signs – they meant he was taking time to really think about his response.
After some seconds, she said “I think you are ready for some other instruction. A new direction, more advanced, ankara escort now that you have achieved a certain level of control over the vessel. But to continue, I need your permission. If we proceed, you must follow my instructions to the letter. Once we start, you may say nothing except “STOP”, which you may say at any time if you become uncomfortable in any way. Shall we proceed? Nod if you wish to do so.”
He nodded, deeply intrigued.
Fingertips on his sides, just above his waistband. This combination of her touch and his response were extraordinarily disquieting. Inside his shorts, his cock stirred, very much against his wishes.
Then he nearly jumped again as the fingertips tugged gently on the elastic. One part of his mind told the other part “Shut up and stay still!” He managed to do so.
The whispered instruction helped: “Make no movement at all. At this moment, you are a corpse, you know. Do not change your breathing, not even the least little bit. You are not in charge any more, the breath is. What I am doing here is immaterial to the breath”
It wasn’t easy, but he complied. The shorts pulled his cock with them, then abruptly it dropped free, lolling to the side, now more than half-inflated. The fabric slid down his legs, under his thighs, knees, calves, ankles, heels, and was gone. The warmth returned.
He lay there, cock more erect with every heartbeat. He was astounded at the speed and intensity of his arousal. He squashed the thought that began “Seventy-eight minus thirty two equals…” That didn’t seem at all germane right now.
Butterfly-like, two fingertips investigated his crotch, symmetrically, left side, right side, then simultaneously down both sides of his cock. He worked at not squirming, and just barely succeeded.
How long had it been since this stage of events started, he wondered? Perhaps a minute, a maximum of two… and here he was with surely the hardest erection of his life. What was it she was going to teach, anyhow?
The whisper returned. “Unusual for a western man to shave here. I suspected it months ago. I like the concept. Very Indian. It bodes well.”
Fingers pried his cock from against his belly into the vertical: tadasana for the penis? It almost hurt, he was so hard.
She whispered again: “Nicely shaped, your lingam is! A good size. Very responsive and well behaved, at least so far. I have for some time hoped so. As I said, you may do well. If you have some real control. Which we shall soon see.”
He felt her legs flexing as her ankles left his sides. For a long moment there was no touch between them except for her fingers on his shaft.
Then her feet moved, ankles settled solidly against the tops of his pelvis-wings, squeezing.
Then warm, slippery smoothness engulfed his cock, exquisitely slowly, extraordinarily snug, fingernails teasing the delicate skin in the bottom of the helmet-groove, making sparks in his brain. The fingers went away, then the ankles left, and their bodies’ only contact was between cock and pussy, lingam and yoni. Inanely, Jerry thought ‘The ancients had prettier words, didn’t they?’.
He didn’t move. Kerleen, however, did, lowering herself at about an inch per minute.
Eventually as Kerleen settled he felt his cock-head touch the knob of her cervix: small she might be, but she took him in completely without hesitation or difficulty. The fit was superb.
Her crotch pressed against his, her sitting-bones resting on the tops of his thighs but without pressure: he wondered if her clit was against his pubic bone? And what, exactly, did she look like, squatting there naked atop him?
She adjusted her position, and spoke slowly, dreamily, in perfect time with their parallel breathing. “Make no movement. Allow yourself no change in your breath, regardless of sensations. Let your consciousness settle down into the base of your spine, down into the space behind your lingam’s root. Let yourself BECOME the place were we blend together. Move yourself into the union. Soften your throat and your face and the base of your spine. Relax, don’t think”
She spent five minutes making one complete cycle of penetration, engulfment.
“WE are not our vessels, Jerry. We, the spirits, the important parts, the real WE are something quite different. Come join with the essential ME. I’m inside this vessel, as you are inside yours. Ignore the vessels, for they’ve done their job already. No hurry – we have all the time in the universe.”
Within her, something was happening, he could feel it. Her temperature seemed to be changing, warming. Atop him, now she moved not an iota, no rising, no falling, no waggle. But inside her body a rhythm was being set up by her internal muscles, a rhythm that matched their breathing perfectly.
He let his consciousness study the union, her actions. Waves of contraction flowed over him, moving from the outside upwards with her inhalations, then back the other way with exhalations. He held himself motionless. Her muscles moved, slowly, rhythmically around his embedded lingam: it seemed to suck him in deeper and deeper. ‘Deeper’ was physically impossible, he knew… their pubes were pressed solidly together. But the emotional and spiritual junction seemed to be expanding and deepening.
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