For me, a typical Saturdays begins with coffee, a breakfast sandwich, and walk with my dog. But my weekend really kicks off when I hit yoga. This ancient and sacred ritual has been around for hundreds of years and it’s been in my life for a solid 7. It was right around the time yoga pants became des rigueur, which is convenient. It also helps me shake off the week and attempt to quiet my mind.
The key word being attemptI’m not a yoga purist. I don’t go to hot yoga, I prefer to practice with music, and sometimes I even bring a [GASP] plastic water bottle. The hardest thing for me to do is get out of my head and be in the moment. I’m a work in progress, but this is why it’s called a yoga practice.
While I know it’s supposed to be a judgement-free zone, it’s tough to practice when I’m mat-to-mat with what I call the Yoga Regs. I take a look around the room. Yup, they’re all here.
It’s the guy who rolls out his musty mat with his yoga towel in place from the last class (or eight). It’s the waft you catch from the gal next to you who might have left her clothes in the washer a little too long, or the person who not-so-subtly let one rip during Pigeon. Maybe they can help it, maybe they can’t, but it’s hard for me to wipe the look of chagrin off my face when I’m next to it.
The poses take effort. Finding your edge takes effort. Every grunt and groan tells me this. Now I’m picturing you doing things that I don’t want to picture you doing. Please. Stop.
You can grab your ankles in full Wheel, go from Half Moon to King Dancer in one move and take pop into a headstand just because. We get it. You’re flexible and strong. Just stick to the flow, thanks.
It’s real hard to master my airplane pose when I’m stuck next to Stumbles McGee. Pretty soon we’re all falling like dominoes because it’s such a distraction. My unsolicited advice: Try it, then modify it.
The Heavy Sweater
We’re in Warrior One, but if I didn’t know otherwise, I would assume you’d just run a marathon. I realize sweating may difficult to manage, but if people around you are looking for a squeegee, consider bringing a towel next time.
The Shirt Remover
Unless you are The Rock or a Hemsworth, you shouldn’t.
In a crowded room, close quarters are the reality. In an uncrowded room, why creep next to me when there’s so much open space? Equidistant elevator etiquette applies in the studio.
You’ve got your mat towel, hand towel, blanket, biodegradable water bottle, prayer beads, strap, three blocks, yogi-toes socks, and lavender essential oil for good measure. It’s a lot.
The Early Leaver
I love a good Shavasana. Don’t screw up my lay-around groove because you need to be the first one in the shower. Leave before we lay down. I mean, you know it’s coming, right?
Your outfit is perfect. You practice with your eyes closed. You scooch with a smile for a too-close neighbor. Your flow looks elegant. Your skin, glowing, as though you’ve been dipped in Zen. You are what I aspire to be.
“Slowly bring your awareness back in the room,” the instructor says.
Thanks to The Regs, my awareness has never left the room.
We meet at the front of our mats in a seated position, hands in prayer position. I vow to try to be more like the Low Keyer next time, but the guy next to me is a mouth breather.