Note: Once again, I must warn my kids to not read this one. I just don’t think kids and their parents’ sexuality works. You’ll have the heebies for days! Frankly, some of my friends shouldn’t read this. Maybe, only my yoga teacher should read it… or anyone who can appreciate one crazy day on the mat!
Today was yoga. It is one of the things I do just for me. It is my time. I go there to ground and focus, breath deeply and clear my head. I’ve been going to 3 Oms Yoga since it opened and have been a fan of my teacher, Amy, for ages. Amy radiates calm, centered, good intentions and I love being around her and in that space. On days like today when I can barely drag my sorry butt out of the house, let alone slide that butt in to lycra and plan to stretch it, I almost always leave class,grateful that I did. Today was a different story.
I got to class a few minutes late, as I was busy trying to organize the two exchange students who currently follow me around like ducklings with loads of questions and needs. My own duckling, Little Man, just tries to catch me in between their stuff. So, while I was tired and unmotivated, I really thought this would be a good thing for me… something I would be glad I did. I’ve been having trouble sleeping for about a week now. I get in to bed each night and my brain is on fire, racing at warp speed and making more lists of things I should try and do the next day. However, that’s if I can remember what I thought as I tried to go to sleep. So, while yoga sounded good, I was tired and knew the rest of my day would be rushed and full… I’d be sacrificing my only 2 free and clear hours. But I pulled out those Lulus, grabbed my mat and headed to yoga to undo the craziness that I allow in all the rest of the week.
Again, I arrived late, but my favorite spot in the back by the wall was free and I quietly set up, and began deepening my breath. I tried to edit the negative thoughts: My legs burn, my arms are weak, I’m out of shape, my “edge” is child pose today. I tried to aim for positive, focused breathing. I held my poses the full breath counts and I took on every extra vinyasa (shortened sun salutation, a flow) offered. My muscles did burn, but I start to feel stronger and I worked to regain some calm. However, I was aware that my mind was still racing. I was thinking all the things I just noted (negative) and I was also noticing the bright sunshine hitting me from the window, the nice colors in the room, the strong arms on the beautiful girl in front of me… My point? My mind was not quiet. I was not finding that sweet spot that yoga usually delivers, when my mind actually goes silent, I feel calm and peace descends.
I breathed deeper. I held that Warrior longer and tried to focus. Then, we began a flow that involved going in and out of (<–) Downward Facing Dog. My mind started racing again and so I looked to my feet. In Down Dog, you can’t help but look at your feet, and there, clear as day, were dirty feet! My feet: filthy! I am a very clean person, THIS, this was totally unexpected. I tried to examine the dirt, from Down Dog, to figure out how on earth my feet could be that dirty. I began to follow Amy’s voice intuitively (I know what will come next, I reasoned) but was really focused on trying to rub off the dirt and figure out why it was there. Should I go to the bathroom and just wash them? No, then I’ll miss a segment. Shit! My feet are filthy. “Deep inhale and right foot forward to high lunge.” Thanks Amy. Now I can see them better.
However, in lunge I suddenly noticed several new freckles that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere on my lower legs. Damn! Those freckles don’t look right. The color is totally off and they’re not shaped right. Could they be melanomas? Oh my God, they might be melanomas! What the hell do melanomas look like again? I need to Google this! I stretched further in Lunge and tried to examine the freckles more closely. What the hell is going on! Dirty feet and melanomas! My mind raced and focus was diminishing rapidly.
If you Google Melanoma, this is one of the images you will find. —>
As if all of that were not distracting enough, unlike nearly any other day in this class (which I’ve attended for 2+ years), today there was an absolutely beautiful, distractingly magnificent man, right in my line of vision (no way of looking around or past him), practicing with no shirt on. I want to say here: it does not seem right that any man should be that sexy and beautiful AND not wear a shirt, in yoga class! And while they make funny videos about creepy guys who come to yoga to ogle women in their tights, there I was trying to figure out whether to clean my feet, make an appointment with the dermatologist or stop all together and just ogle wild haired, perfect body, yoga God. The possibility of calm quiet mind was gone all together. At least I wasn’t thinking (any more) about how to explain AT&Ts monthly cell plan and all its complexities, to my Chinese exchange student or worrying about the bell schedule at school.
Back to Down Dog and the feet and freckles. Each time we flowed back in to Down Dog, I tried to clear my head of Yoga God and seek some focus. Then, I really looked at one of the freckles. Hmm, that is odd. It is almost orange. I reached back and rubbed the spot. (If you are adding this up, you have now realized that I was in a one armed Down Dog, it was pretty bad ass!) The freckle came off. Then we flowed to lunge and I realized that I could wipe off each melanoma. Suddenly I remembered that the night before, while cooking BBQ chicken for 6 teens, some had spilled on the deck and splattered on my feet and shins. I’d intended to go clean it right off, but if you’ve ever been cooking for the masses, while NO ONE helps and things are burning, timers are going off and the dog is trying to lick up the BBQ sauce, which you know will make him sick all over your kitchen later… The BBQ sauce dried on and I went to bed with dirty feet. Maybe I should clarify: Usually I am a very clean person. Today, I went to yoga with dirty feet. A few more lunges and all evidence of faux freckles or dirt was dabbed clean with a little spit to the thumb. Yes, ewww, but I held that (<— ) Warrior right through it all!
The rest of class I was totally free to practice yoga and ogle beautiful yoga guy. I can not sugar coat this, I was distracted to absolute levels of insanity. He had this amazing tattoo that ran from the waste band of his shorts (which highlighted a dark brown tan line) on his back, wrapped around his stomach and up his chest and lower neck. I like the occasional tattoo and want a small one myself, but in general I am not a tattoo girl. This would not be a good look on most men. However, this tattoo was amazing on him. Each time we stretched forward I tried to figure out what it was, thinking it was a gnarled tree for much of the class. Then he turned and we were facing each other, directly across from each other, (mercy!) and I realized it was a stag. Hell! I went directly to Child Pose an took some breaths.
Tongue to roof of mouth, cleansing breath in, deep exhale. When I came up, there he was, his tanned back stretched in Warrior and then through a vinyasa. I seriously thought about stopping right there. Just sit down and pretend to meditate. I admit, it entered my mind. Instead, I went in to a difficult partial handstand, with legs on the wall (90 degrees), something I will only do under duress, and with an assist, and faced away from all sexy distractions. I breathed deeply and closed my eyes. When I finally came down, the amazing beautiful yoga guy was going in to a perfect Camel Pose. If you know this pose and you can imagine sitting directly across from someone like this, maybe you can appreciate the effect it had on me… I felt entirely undone. CHILD POSE! And for the record, there is just no need to keep the temperature that hot under such conditions! It’s hard enough at my age to deal with temperature changes! (Seriously, Better than this… that’s how amazing he was!) –>
At the end of class, we bumped in to each other getting water and I made every effort to maintain composure… having maintained none for most of the hour and half of class! “Great class” he said. “Yes, amazing.” When he’d gone, I shared this experience with my yoga teacher, Amy, and we laughed hysterically as I told her how completely un-yoga this class had been for me, but how glad I was that I came! I went home no more grounded or calm than I came in, but I was smiling and I don’t have melanoma!
Another note: Of course NONE of these images are of me or my classmates. I’m not a fool. But if you Google the yoga poses, this is what you might find. Also, I am not making light of melanoma. I take it very seriously, but I am making light of my ridiculous thoughts! Share your thoughts in return. Ever have one of those days in yoga? Glad you went, but not because you came away grounded? Make a comment.
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