The other day I was headed to a yoga class. I noticed that my watch and the clock in my car were 10 minutes apart, which meant that if my watch was right I might be late, which meant I might not find a place to park, lay my mat in my favorite spot by the door, or even get in class. So what did I do? What any good American chasing the American dream going to a yoga class would do, I sped up! Just a tad, though, because I actually took care to think through the idea of how ironic (or ridiculous) it would be to get a speeding ticket on the way to yoga class.
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When I turned into the parking lot (on two wheels) I could see several people covertly dashing from their cars, which meant my watch was right. The sight of them all racing sent a reflexive primal release of adrenaline that I could almost feel drip from my adrenal cortex and on down through directly to my extremities. Like somebody pulled the trigger and shot me out of the barrel. Okay-okay, where’s my yoga mat… should I grab my purse or leave it in the trunk? Well, that’s stupid, what if someone breaks into the car? Take it… duh. And okay, well, where ..? I looked up from my flurry of gunpowder only to see three more people scuffling by me. Great! Just take the mat and let’s go, Maryanne! I headed for the studio like a restrained dart, careful not to appear desperate— it just wouldn’t be yogi-like.
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As I was about to hop/leap up onto the curb, two people were closing in on me. They were not exactly running but may as well have been; the intensity of their vibe was like a fleet of wild stallions, which sent an additional flush—this time of fury—through my body-mind-spirit. And then out of nowhere, in sudden revolt, I stopped dead in my tracks and blurted out “I refuse—to rush—into a YO—GA class!” Which came out more like a declaration (and a surprise) rather than a blurt.
One of the three bi-athletes that pretended not to run by me (as though her Prana hoodie, Om tattoo and flipflops were competitive camouflage), hesitated for a brief second, quickly determined I didn’t have turrets and that she was not in danger, then hastened towards the door. The other two glanced back at me, arching their eye brows like “What-ever,” while another gal who had just come up on my heels slowed her pace slightly and whispered sweetly as she crept by, “You’re exactly right,” then purposefully slipped in front of me so she could get in the door first.
Still viscerally perplexed by my outburst, I noticed I was secretly happy none of the other people who had beat me to it were in my class. I took the Level One. They were probably in the Level Five or Ten class, or whichever one is for more advanced people. I still have trouble with the names of the poses, I am new. Even so I was comforted in knowing that in three minutes or less, after a gentle invitation back to the present moment, I would all but have forgotten my angst, as I would be tied in knots while trying simultaneously to breathe deeply—which seemed to me an oxymoron (which about sums up how I felt about my abilities as an aspiring yogini as well).