Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bull In A Yoga Studio

So, I've been taking this Saturday morning yoga class. (Okay, I've only gone twice.) If I can get myself there at 8AM, by the time it's all over at 9AM, I am feeling pretty good. In between is another story.

Imagine the quiet yoga room, the vaguely alter-culture-world music (sung in a Tibetan dialect unknown outside of the small valley where it is spoken), the neatly arranged mats. Six women follow the measured instructions of the teacher. Five of them fold smoothly into human pretzels and unfold with their butts in the air in downward dog, still as majestic as ever. Their breath is even, hardly above a whisper. These women look cool and relaxed, as though they took a bath in baby powder before class, and not even a sudden appearance of Katrina would dampen them in the least.

And then, there is me.

I am wringing wet -- even when it's the still meditative part of class . My tee-shirt -- which I've been mopping my face with -- is blotchy and bedraggled. My breathing sounds more like someone running a 10K than a swami engaged in an asana. And I must continually remind myself: Breath, breath. Hey you, breath! I mix my right side up with my left. I can't figure out how to get my foot to go over there, any there. I sweat even more.

But at the end of it all, as I stumble gratefully toward my car, I feel better - actually really good. And, I think, I might even be able to walk home from yoga class (only about a mile) -- maybe in about a year. Still, some things may never be achieved. Like me in a a white yoga-tard for instance. (Look on the cover of the Kripalu Yoga Center's catalogue and you will see what I am talking about -- a whole series of yoga divas wearing white yoga-tards, smiling, with their heads, hands, and feet in places I have to turn the catalogue around just to figure out.) White-yoga-tardness will never be achieved by me, at least in this lifetime. I am accepting that as my own little act of humble acceptance.

Breath, breath. Hey you! Breath!

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