As promised, here is the first installment of The Yoga Project (TYP).
DAY 1: September 27, 11:00 am
A checkerboard of dark blue yoga mats lines the floor in the dimly lit room. I park my bag in a cubby and claim a spot near the back. Everyone is collecting props from a shelf – two foam blocks, one foam cushion, a bolster. I follow suit.
I notice, right in front of me along the center of the back wall, a line of sputtering electric fake candles and two crossed mats. Hold the phone – this is the front! I quickly move as far over to the side as I can, against the wall. No way do I want to plop myself right down in front of the instructor. Phew. Close call.
The instructor, J–, a long, leggy blonde, comes in. So do more and more people. Just before she starts I do a quick headcount – there are upwards of thirty of us. All kinds of bodies. A few men, some young svelte things, some young less-svelte things, some mature folks like me. This could work. As long as no one sits too close to me.
J– gets down to business. Within three minutes of the start of the class, we’re exhaling with a collective Om. Have I found it so fast?
We start moving. J– tells us when to inhale and exhale as we go in and out of what seems like an endless series of down dogs. I like what she’s saying – move your heart forward, lead with your heart. It’s nice to do yoga in English. I send a wave of gratitude to my Lausanne instructor as we move through the poses. Thanks to her patient guidance, I actually know this stuff. I can keep up.
J– moves around the class as she speaks, occasionally demonstrating a pose, but things mostly just flow along. Some people in the room are adapting the poses. That’s a good sign. She doesn’t come over to me and correct anything. I’m just another yoga person, doing my yoga. At the end of the class we do three collective “oms,” feeling the vibration in our bones as we exhale.
I leave feeling calm and centered. Maybe I’m not the hopeless inflexible lump of flesh I think I am. This particular revelation may require some serious mental adjustment on my part.
The weekend forecast is for rain and more rain. I’m looking forward to some more yoga.
Here’s the whole project: