“Down on your back, sweetheart! I want to see your hips and chest in the air. The bridge pose, all right? Remember that one?”
My body trembled from the very tips of my toes to the skin of my scalp as I relaxed backwards on the rubbery mat laid out below me. It stuck a little to my nylon sweatpants. I gave a small grunt of exertion and slowly bent my knees upwards, moving my feet closer and closer to my sitting bones, inch by inch.
“Setu Bandha Sarvangasana”
Rita’s voice was dim, but the name sparked a memory of the pose as well as the English name had. The fucking bridge pose! Feeling my teeth grind down on my lower lip, I arched my back, levitating my ass into the air while keeping my shoulder blades planted against the mat. To say this was an uncomfortable pose would be an understatement.
Sweat trickled from my forehead and chest, pearling down my cleavage. God, it was hot out here! What had Rita said when she’d offered these private yoga sessions months ago?
It’ll be fun! Some advanced lessons that you can handle, but the others can’t yet. I know, we’ll do it at my house! We have a great backyard for exercise.
Yeah. Fun. I closed my eyes as I felt a familiar muscle tension spreading through my body. It was so hard to concentrate now. I focused my eyes on my bellybutton. The curve of my belly had become so taut over the past months. Yoga really did wonders for my figure, just like Rita had said it would when I’d begun practicing with her. But like anything, it came at a price.
“Good….good…that’s it. Hold it! Hold!”
I could barely hear her voice; it was more like a muted, buzzing whisper in my ears. The pressure of my teeth clenching together was foremost in my mind as I lifted my chin away from my sternum and broadened the shoulder blades again to complete the pose.
“Ahnn.” With a groan of relief, I slowly allowed the pose to relax and carefully rolled my spine down against the mat. Swallowing and panting heavily, I gulped down fresh air.
“You…slave-driver.” My voice sounded hoarse to my own ears, and I cleared my throat noisily.
My mentor gave a soft giggle, and with a warm soft hand with slim fingers, patted the naked skin of my stomach. “Aw, don’t say that. It’s amazing how good you’ve become in such a short time, Leslie. You’re the best student I’ve ever had. Really!”
My body gave another quaking tremble, and I closed my eyes, feeling warmth spread through my chest and pelvic region from the feel of her touch. For a moment I regretted wearing only a sports bra and tight yoga pants. Someone touching my naked skin while or after doing yoga always made me…shiver.
“Thanks,” I panted. “Good to hear I’m not killing myself for nothing then.”
Rita’s full lips curved in a smile. She was in her early thirties, but as youthful and beautiful as any woman in her mid-twenties. Perhaps yoga was her secret. Her body was flawless with a slim, well-proportioned figure and breasts that were sizable even beneath her sports bra. She would always do Yoga in a sports bra and shorts, leaving little to the imagination. Her muscles were toned, though not too toned. Only…taut. Like mine but better.
“Come on, I’ll get you something to drink.” She laughed and extended her hand.
I took it, and she helped pull me to my feet. I felt like dry prune, having sweated out all the water in my body, but at the same time, it felt great. Doing yoga was always like this. The body was left in a sort of stretched, relaxed, and hypersensitive state.
Rita went inside and came out with a glass of water in her hand. Her red hair, thick and curly, was in disarray.
“Thanks.” I took the glass and swallowed the cool, refreshing water eagerly. It had been several months of this now. In addition to the regular yoga practice that I had every week, Rita had invited me to do this at her home on weekends. I felt like part of the family after the number of dinners I’d had with her and her husband. In addition to being a great teacher, Rita was a fabulous cook with a knack for Asian cuisine. Her husband, Jim, was over six feet tall, his hair cropped in a military-style stubble and with just enough stubble on his chin to – I imagined anyway – make a woman shiver when he rubbed it against her cheek. His body looked like that of a military man too. A marine, perhaps.
I felt a familiar heat rising from between my legs and quickly swallowed the rest of the water. I put the glass on the table again and turned to Rita.
I nodded. “What else do you have planned for me today then?”
She met my smile with one of her own. “A couple of more positions, sweetheart. Then I thought we’d make something good to eat, sound nice?”
“Perfect,” I replied and extended my arms backwards, stretching them while breathing rhythmically. She was going to work me harder after this short break, I knew that much.
Rita, too, stretched for a moment, extending her arms and bending her legs in positions I could only hope to achieve, and only after breaking a few of my bones.
“I’m a bit surprised, you know,” she said.
“Oh? What about?”
“Well.” She angled her head upward, rolling and craning her shoulders and neck. “If I may be so bold to ask, you’ve come here for months now, and you’ve never mentioned any guys in your life. No boyfriends, nothing. Where are all the men in your life?”
My ears grew hot, and my face felt warm. I quickly assumed the Chair Pose, hoping she wouldn’t notice me blushing. “I’m not really that…good with men,” I grimaced. “They don’t seem to like me all that much.”
Rita stopped what she was doing and her green, tilted eyes looked at me in concern. She had an expression of disbelief on her face.
“That’s crazy. Sweetheart, you’re a knockout, just look at you. That hair, that body. And you do yoga! Are you hanging around young guys who don’t know what that means?”
I cleared my throat and managed a small smile. I didn’t think I was anything special. My hair, it was just okay. A common strawberry blonde mop that, when loosened, fell just below my shoulders. The rest of my body wasn’t that spectacular really. My breasts were too small. A boyfriend said that to me once and it stuck. Sometimes I couldn’t look at them without remembering him saying that.
“Thanks…so, what’s the next position?” I hoped my voice sounded steadier to her than it did to myself.