Sorry. I don’t normally enhance my blog with profanity, but this little funny reduced me to tears. Allow me to explain.
“Come with me to free yoga this Sunday”, says Carla. “Fine” says Karen.
I’ve never done yoga before. I’ve thought about it and dismissed every time as a momentary lapse of sanity. tantric pigeon poses; strange incantations conjuring pagan gods, new-agey theologically questionable at-one-ment; not for this Spartan princess. Besides, I don’t understand the language... I struggle hard enough inventing my own Latin and Spanish words. This just sounds like gargling with vowels. Hasayamapataranamathan. You understand.
So what made this Sunday at 10:30 plausible enough for my intro to Yoga 101 experience? I dunno. A suspected hunch is a faint recollection of a recent phone conversation where someone suggested that I investigate “Catholic Yoga”. Seed planted. I think I have subconsciously willed it into being.
Ok. So I find my best stretchable clothing; something that won’t tear out too easily in the behind and is fashionable enough to parade around in one of the wealthiest shopping establishments in Arizona. I immediately feel ridiculous that I am thinking about this. I don my most yoga-esque shade of pink lipstick and drive my comfortable self to the Biltmore.
Arriving at the parking garage, I follow the slow parade of people toting yoga mats since I do not exactly know where I am going. I am good at pretending to know what I am doing when in fact, I do not know what I am doing. God plays along with this plan since these people lead me right to the center pavilion where I encounter half of the population of Paradise Valley.
Thought bubble #1: Do you ever wonder why the churches are empty? Well wonder no more. I found all of the recovering Catholics and lapsed church-goers right here at the Biltmore! [Pastors…take note.]
I greet Carla, exchange a few laughs, roll out the mat and prepare myself for the hour ahead. The yoga instructor is a lovely young gal definitely wearing the right spandex ensemble.
Thought bubble #2: I think to myself how every athletic activity has it’s own “look” yoga folk tend to resemble pilate folk. But they definitely look different than hockey folk…but I digress.
Our yoga priestess has us greeting the sunshine and paying homage to our breath. I think I mutter a “Hail Mary”, which actually settles me…. Whenever I’m lost, I look over to Carla who is managing quite well with her big toe wedged almost inside of her ear. After getting past the cognitive dissonance of shopping the stores with my eyes while trying to concentrate on the goodness of my spirit, I realize this is not unlike the drifty-ness I experience when my mind wanders in prayer. Hmmmm, “White House/Black Market excellent sundress” competing with “I want to sing the sweetest song to Jesus in this time and place”. Eventually I do figure out a rhythm in the pigeon pose circuit. And that brings some relief because I need order.
But then, there is the woman next to me. Clearly, she is frustrated. She is inconveniently sandwiched between the pavement sidewalk, next to White House Black Market and me. I immediately feel sorry for her. a bit of a negative vibe of energy has her in a tantric mental wedgy which has been caused simultaneously by a bad audio system and a child being strolled around who is screaming at the top of his lungs. (And me, and WH-BM). Then she says the words that completely untangle me:
“I have lost all serenity. Now I’m just “expletive-ed”. I need a beer.
I need a beer? I giggle. I laugh out loud. She laughs out loud. I determine this to be the high point of my yoga experience and I have made a mental friend. She introduces me to where I am comfortable: Rule 62… never take yourself too (expletive) serious. To this thought I add my own quotable: humor is the fertilizer of a happy soul. I begin to feel a particular lift (with my toe in my ear), as I thank God for a beautiful day in His sunshine.
Thought Bubble #3: My mind wanders to the next meditative thought: the yoga class invading the corner bar; mats, spandex and all.
Maybe I’ll come back again next week.