There I was in my yoga class lying with my heels together, yanked as close as I could get them to my groin with a strap which is olive drab and makes me think of military training camp equipment) with my eyes closed, a cloth covering them, trying hard to relax when all of a sudden the room shook (I swear) with the explosion of a bottle rocket, a cohete, which sounded like a bomb exploding right outside the front door. "Holy cow," I gasped (I still say holy cow),"What was that?" I half sat up (I couldn't sit all the way with my feet strapped). The other student and Luana, the instructor lay like corpses. Another explosion. I managed to keep my mouth shut. A long pause, long enough that I actually relaxed and then, just as my back sank onto the floor, the biggest boom of all. "Jesus Christ," the name burst full-force out of my mouth. You don't hear that a lot here, though you hear all kinds of other profanities. Anyway, it was loud enough to rouse my fellow students. Luanna looked at me blankly. "Are you all right?"
"Didn't you hear that?"
"What?" I swear she said "what."
She and the other student were now sitting up. I was at a disadvantage, only able to get half-up with my hands supporting me and my heels still practically tickling my crotch.
"That explosion. It sounded like a huge cohete right in front of your door!"
"Aren't you used to them yet?"
I had to assert my longevity in Mexico.Of course I was used to the cohetes. "Well, yeah, but not right outside my front door!"
My front door is behind a wall. Luana's is right on the sidewalk of the main street of Xico. As she said, she hears them all the time. Every church has a patron saint, the calendar is filled with holy days. The class ended and we stepped outside onto the sidewalk to see a procession filling the street, a cohort of masked clowns twirling in their wide-legged costumes, their tall, conical hats swaying, their glittery noisemakers crackling rhythmically. Then came a seated Jesus high above us on a litter borne by eight or ten men and, finally, a large mariachi band.
When we first came to Xico years ago, such processions were a bit more ragged, but with the growth of tourism and the consequent attention, they've gotten much more polished. Maybe it's a good thing.
Which brings me back to Luana's yoga classes. I have to mention again that she is a wonderful teacher of the Iyengar branch of Hatha yoga. If you live in the greater Xico metroplex, you should give her classes a try. She is at Hidalgo 100 in Xico, her cell phone is 228 111 7647. You can find her at facebook at Yogatlán. Classes are on Monday and Thursday from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 10:30 in the morning.