I love people. There are so many characters out there. I went to yoga the other day and in walks a guy, older, with a head band, huge square glasses, wristbands and shiny shorts. He had on a tank top and fanny pack with tube socks to complete his yoga outfit. He rolled out his mat next to mine, snapped off the fanny pack and positioned his very hairy body in a relaxed child’s pose. I love this guy. He is exactly who he is. He is not making excuses or trying to be someone he just isn’t. He is very comfortable with himself or he is from the group home up the street. Either way, he is wonderful in my eyes.
As I looked around the class, I saw some other characters. There was the skinny chick who looks like she just might fall over from hunger. Large, owly eyes and bones protruding from places we generally do not see bones, like her ass. But she had a sweet smile and was as awkward as the day is long. The very large woman next to her was unphased by the skinny chick. She rolled out her mat, gave a smile in my direction when she saw me peeking and asked “It’s hot in here isn’t it?” then laid down to center herself.
I turned my head the other way and there was a yoga nazi with her own mat, her own block and strap and her very important looking yoga outfit. She had the yoga pants that come slightly above the ankle and the spandex bra top. She was all business and was practicing her breathing. Honestly, I was a little scared of her. Behind her was the college student. He, yes, that’s right, HE had the best view in the room. Not of the instructor, but of the yoga nazi’s butt. He’s in college ya know, he’s pretty smart.
Scattered throughout the studio are a handful of older women in various degrees of ability. Some are dressed to the nines with their jewelry and sweat suits and others are in ratty tees and jogging pants. But we are all there for the same reason. To see who lets one rip. NO. To see the guy in the wrist bands. NO. To get in touch with our bodies and feel more relaxed. OK.
Years ago I was very close to becoming a yoga instructor. I was in shape and I was very good. But baby #2 happened and I lost interest in Yoga. I also lost my instructor. He didn’t die or anything, I just got lost finding his new place and took that as a sign that I should just concentrate on the baby. Going back to yoga has been hard. Physically sure, but more so emotionally. My old instructor was a dancer in his previous life so he knew exactly how to get me to do what I needed to. These new instructors don’t know me, they are not dancers they are lovely but they are purely yoga teachers. And I am dealing with the effects of fibromyalgia. I cannot move like I used to. My muscles feel like they are ripping when I do the simplest of stretches. The pain is intense and I do not know how to NOT do what I am asked to do or do it “a little less” And then when I do it full out and it still isn’t what I know it should be I get a little sad.
And then I glance over at the old guy in sweat bands who doesn’t give a flying fig what anyone else sees, he is doing his personal best and feeling good about himself. And I think I could use a little of that. I can use my anonymity to do what I can. No one in this class expects anything of me. They don’t care that I am not making pretty pictures with my body. They all seem to have a higher understanding than I do. I look at them and I see beauty because they are exactly who they are. No pretense, no excuses.
And no one even laughs when some one farts during downward dog. No one says “you smelt it you dealt it” when one wafts by during warrior pose. These people are the essence of mature. Well, except the college kid. I saw him smirk.
Time to go get my wrist bands and fanny pack. I wonder what I’ll learn today!