Just Breathe

 

Writing 101 Assignment. Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind. Don’t use any adverbs.

 

She blasts past me on the sidewalk leading to the yoga studio – in her perfectly purple Lululemon ensemble, opens the door and rushes in – the glass panel slamming in my face. Anger and irritation threaten to bubble in my veins as I reach for the handle, but I take a deep breath and remind myself why I’m here.

Whoosh. A blanket of suffocating heat washes over me, stealing my calming breath. ‘Ugh…it’s sooooo hot in here.’ The tired, whiney little girl in me has been looking forward to a cool, easy, yin class. I quickly check the schedule and realize I’ve just entered a 90 minute hot power-yoga session. ‘I’ll die in here. I should probably just leave.’

“So good to see you today,” the instructor chirps, flashing a bright smile my way. I call her toothy smile and raise her a double-eyebrow lift.

‘Dangit! I can’t leave now, I’ve been spotted. This is the class Liz said kicked her butt last week – in a good way…I guess it won’t kill me to give it a try,’ I reason as I eyeball the room for an inconspicuous spot in the back row. I tip-toe past a rainbow of rubber islands and lay down my brownish mat, the sand to all these jewel-toned oases. ‘Maybe I’ll shop for a colorful one this weekend…’

Sweat beads on my forehead and upper lip as I gather the usual accoutrements from the back of the room; a blanket, two blocks, a strap and a bolster roll. After I’ve wrestled them back to my spot, get situated and lie down, I’m ready for a nap – irritation creeping back up my spine. I take a deep breath and focus on the stationary ceiling fan overhead casting leaf-shaped shadows onto the sea-green walls.

“We’ll get started in child’s pose,” smiley’s velvety voice encourages the spandexed crowd.

For the next hour and a half, I flow, I chataranga, I warrior, I invert and I breathe – sweat dripping from every pore of my body. As I push myself back to seated position after shavasana, I marvel at the change in me. Gone is the anger and irritation, the road rage, the fatigue from sitting at a desk all day. I am centered, spent and exhilarated. I feel as if I’ve just run a marathon AND had a full body massage.

As our glistening bodies spill from the sauna-like tomb, I see perfect purple Lululemon lady again and am able to smile and tell her to have a nice evening – and I really mean it.

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14 thoughts on “Just Breathe

      1. I’ve done yoga on and off over the years, mostly off! I know it would be good for me, but I resist it. I do PIlates though, and love it!

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  1. My husband does hot yoga and loves it. I don’t do any yoga-hot, cold or even tepid. But when you write about this stuff it’s almost enough to rope me in. Almost.

    The purple outfit reminded me of the first time I went skiing, maybe 10 years ago. Bunny slope with instructor, and here comes some ditzy chick wearing an obviously brand new, fully matching pink and white snowsuit with brand new matching boots. Matching hat. Matching hairband under the hat (and how is it that she didn’t get hat-head?). In my mind I immediately dubbed her Ski Barbie. Bottom line, she looked cuter falling than I did.

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