Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Something Borrowed / "I used to be really into nostalgia..."

I was super tired before yoga class tonight and managed to arrive at the studio without any shorts. I wasn't too concerned about this, since there always seems to be an extra pair of shorts SOMEwhere. As it turned out, I went to ask the teacher at the desk if she had an extra pair of shorts, and the woman who was signing into class at that moment said "Oh, I have some shorts, you just have to go and get them from the parking lot. It's a silver Ford Focus." And she handed me the keys to her car. I love small-town yoga studios. So class was saved - yippee!

For some reason, this made my tired brain remember the first time I ever did a Bikram class wearing a borrowed outfit. It's a class from last winter that has stuck in my brain really clearly. I had fun remembering it. Good nostalgia.

I'm almost positive that it was December (2007) and it was a Tuesday. I was on a double shift at my restaurant job, working lunch and dinner, and I had given up on making it to yoga that day because there wasn't an early enough class to go before work, I only had a couple hours between shifts, and I wouldn't be done working til late at night. But unexpectedly, it was snowing. It snowed pretty hard, and no one was expecting it, so the restaurant was very quiet during lunch and I was finished way earlier than usual - so early that I had time to walk from Faneuil Hall over to the Chinatown studio and take the 3pm class.

I was so excited to do class that day because it had not been in my plans at all, and I was pretty new to the daily practice thing, but I already missed the yoga any time I went a day without it. So I was in a great mood as I pushed my way through the quiet, unshoveled streets, with no yoga supplies at all, towards the studio (which, in the last couple months, during which I had started work-study, started practicing every day, spent a couple months being coached on my postures before standing on stage, and participating in the regional championships, had unexpectedly turned from a yoga studio into a second home.)

The studio was quiet, too, when I got there 20 minutes before the class was supposed to start. I borrowed black shorts and a red Lululemon top from Jen, the instructor for the class. (She was not yet my lunch-every-Thursday, cross-country-phone-call friend that she would become by the time I left, but we had started to get to know each other and we already liked each other a lot.)

One of the studio owners, Brad, was there to take class, and he was in such a great mood that he decided to tease me about everything. (I adored Brad - and still do - like a cool, slightly dorky big brother - a little weird, but my kind of weird!) I put down my mat in the room and he said "hey, you can't practice there, you always go there! Go somewhere new!" So I said "ok, fine!!" and moved my mat to the other side of the room, almost on top of his. There was only one other person in the room and he told her "I can pick on her (me) because she's going to go and become a teacher soon!" (I had sat down with Brad a day or two earlier to explain that as much as I would like to go to teacher training, it wasn't going to happen now because I had too much going on in my life... in one ear and out the other? But I kind of loved his stubborness just because it was so obviously motivated by pride and affection... ) Then he said "let's do no water!" and I said "ok!" and he stuck our water bottles back in the lobby.

Then class... class was just fantastic. Tiny class in the small yoga room, maybe 6 or 8 of us all together, me and Brad side by side in the front. Jen's voice leading us with the dialogue, sweet and insistent, precise and encouraging... lock the knee, lock the knee, lock the knee. The big fat flakes of snow falling quickly and quietly out the windows behind us. The cozy warmth of the room. Our yoga was powerful, focused, simple, passionate, relaxed. I was so incredibly comfortable and happy and safe in that city, that room, that mat, those clothes, my skin, my breath.

90 minutes later... quick shower, back into the black shirt and slacks, and back through the snowy streets, shoveled by now, to work the dinner shift like nothing happened. But, you know... something happened.

And the only moral of this story is that forgetting your shorts is no reason to miss a yoga class!


hannahjustbreathe said...

Ohhhh, J. What an awesome post. I've had classes like this---those quiet, passionate, soul-altering 90 minutes of meditation and focus and breath and balance. We strive for this each time we enter that room, no?

And knowing that tiny studio, knowing Brad, knowing you---ahh, I could picture this so perfectly! Oh so lovely.

thedancingj said...

Glad you liked this post!! It was really fun to write. Love those classes. Quiet, peaceful, but also INCREDIBLY energetic and exciting and FUN. Damn I love yoga.

bikramyogachick said...

That's what I love about this yoga...it's not just physical exercise. There is a special comraderie in the studio that just makes me feel so good. Sounds like it is universal. Love this yoga!

thedancingj said...

Camraderie! Yes! Right on. That is totally the word that I couldn't quite remember. ;)