Reluctant acceptance

The teacher strolled into the yoga studio 10 minutes late for a 50-minute class. That only leaves 40 minutes. Let’s go! And the first thing she did was ask if we’d like to practice outdoors, since it was a beautiful July morning.

Well, we had already claimed our spots, put down our mats, gathered our straps, set up our blocks, laid out our blankets, and I for one had already settled into my preliminary yogic stupor.


But, being American, we took a vote. 13 for outside, 8 for inside. I was one of the insiders. This made me grumpy because I had ridden my bike to the studio and had a whole pile of stuff with me that I didn’t feel like moving.

But I was outvoted, so I rolled up my mat, put back my blocks, picked up my purse and water bottle; tried to decide whether it was safe to leave my bicycle helmet in the studio or whether I should carry it with me; decided that no one in their right mind would steal someone’s sweaty old helmet and gloves, so left them behind and headed out, with my mat and strap in one hand and my purse and water bottle in the other.

Wondered whether I should take the time to put on my shoes and decided to go barefoot.


Realized we’d be walking through a parking lot and down a path where there was broken glass, so went back and put my shoes on.


Stopped to tell the guy at the front desk that I was leaving my helmet and some other stuff in the studio so please don’t toss them into the Lost-and-Found.

Meanwhile, the rest of the class (clearly a less-encumbered group) was already receding into the distance. I started after them, but then changed my mind and turned around to go home, saying “The heck with it” then changed my mind again and said “Why not.” Through the parking lot, across the broken glass, past the tennis courts, juggling my belongings, until I finally caught up with the group. Still grumpy. Just wanted to stay inside and get on with it.

Settled down in the only shady spot I could find, but then felt I was a bit too close to the woman next to me, who had what looked to be toenail fungus. Moved over to my left. Now in the sun, with no sunscreen on. Pasty white girl with no sunscreen. Not good.

Teacher said we’d have a gentle practice today, so we all laid down on our mats and looked up at the sky. Great. I’m basically taking a nap in a field. But it really was very nice out, and the sky was completely blue with not a cloud in it; and there was a gentle breeze, too.

After the obligatory “Om” (and a sorry-ass Om it was– this was an inhibited group), we all closed our eyes and teacher said to contemplate how nice it was to be surrounded by other people. But I don’t really like people, thought I! (I like individuals, but I’m too much of an introvert to care for the general idea of “people.”)

Anyway, we ended up having a really nice class– it was actually quite challenging– and there weren’t any bugs, and there was no dog-doo, and I didn’t get a sunburn after all. I think we must have been quite a sight, 20 of us doing Happy Baby in a field. (If you don’t know yoga, Happy Baby is a pose where you lay on your back, legs akimbo, soles pointing up, and you grab one foot with each hand and rock back and forth. Just like a happy baby.) I would have loved to see a video of that.


Had a spontaneous chat about the effect of sunshine on brain stems after class with a smart, funny lady. Was told I look like Olivia Newton John (I’ll take it). Met a fellow bike-rider in the parking lot and commiserated about sharing our gardens with wildlife; turns out she has lily-eating varmints –maybe skunks– and is considering some sort of forced relocation program (trap-and-release) which seems fraught with danger, if you ask me.

So the moral of the tale (for what’s a tale without a moral?) is that I went along with the flow, I wrestled with my grumpiness, and I ended up not only accepting the situation but having a most excellent yoga class with a very pleasant group of people. Yes, “people.” And It Was Good.

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