I got there early ‘cause I like to stake out a spot near the back in case I get a little light-headed during my downward facing dog and have to collapse onto my knees. Also, sometimes I cheat during warrior two, it depends on my mood.
So, I am comfortably positioned in the back row when class begins. Five minutes into sun salutations, two women make their way into class and park themselves firmly within my zone of bliss. How am I supposed to find my frickin’ inner Zen when I am in baby cobra and someone’s feet are three inches from my face?
While we are on the topic of yoga, I wrote this three years ago. It is a work of fiction and only slightly autobiographical.
Sun Salutations and Other Methods of Torture
If I join a spin class or step aerobics, I know what I’m in for . . . breathless pain. But yoga? Come on, it’s stretching with a fancy name, right? So I bought some cute organic-cotton separates and a purple yoga mat. The mat is really more of an eggplant, a deep, rich, borderline maroon color, with a fleur de lis etched in the center. I feel urban, hip, trendy in an I-care-about-the-environment sort of way. I head to class, feeling loose and confident. I’m all about the downward dog. I’m the goddess of sun salutations. I’m a cobra; I’m a tree. I’m Zen on my yoga journey. My instructor, Seth, is hot in spandex and more spandex. He’s praising my locust pose, my butterfly, my pigeon. I’m planking, cat twisting. I’m a chair, a child, a triangle. I’m growing where I’m planted; I’m the core of life, the sheath of bliss. I’m the eight limbs of Raga. Layers within layers, lines of internal energy, my inner experience illuminated. I am PRANA!
Twenty-four hours later I’m stuck in the bathroom. More precisely, I’m stuck on the toilet because I had to pee but now I can’t stand up. My legs are burning and cramping; I have an itch on my left eyebrow, but my shoulders are in such knots I can’t raise my arms. I lowered my head to my knee in an attempt to scratch my forehead, but now my neck has tensed up, and I can’t pull myself to an upright position. I would yell for help, but no one’s home. In fifteen minutes my husband will pull into the driveway; he’ll find me here, and when the laughter, ridicule, and utter humiliation is over, he’ll lift me off the toilet and carry me to the sofa. There will be pain involved, but Seth says, “Free your mind; free your mind for deeper reflection.” I will breathe through the pain. I will reflect on my journey.