Hannah and I do a lot of yoga. There’s a vinyasa studio down the street from our dorm, and we try to practice three or four times a week. It’s a small, symmetrical room with blue and green walls, lanterns that throw a soft yellow light, and calming music that permeates the air. The instructors are friendly and encouraging, always telling us to move with our breath and work to our edge. One time we were entering our grueling third minute of high lunge. Our quads were on fire and our arms had been extended over our heads for far too long. Then the instructor, a petite and cheerful redhead, paused and said this with the most serene smile on her face.
This moment, right here, is good.
I wanted to punch her and burst out laughing at the same time. It should be noted that she was not lunging endlessly with us.
But in the end, yoga is consistently one of the best parts of my day. I’m thankful every time I walk out of class that I get to devote an hour of my time to meditation and awkward stretching. And after months of practice, we’ve gotten fairly decent at it. We have our own mats and I have this one top with fancy shoulder straps that totally makes me look the part. I wouldn’t call us yoga novices, but today a few things happened that reminded me how un-Namaste I can be.
I was waiting in line to fill up my water bottle when an instructor, an endearing older man, called me Megan. We’ve been taking his classes for months, but he still gets my name wrong pretty much every time. We started chatting idly about the other ways he’s messed up my name which include calling me Julia and referring to me as Mrs. instead of Miss.
I sat back down on my mat, and a kind-faced woman set up next to me. She must have overheard the previous conversation because she stared at my hands and asked, “So, Julie, you’re married?” At least she got my name right. I clarified that no, I’m very much not married while Hann laughed hysterically.
Now for this next one, let me set the scene in the rest of the studio. People lie splayed out on their backs, stretching vigorously with their knees up by their ears. Some meditate, eyes closed and breathing deeply. Others chat with neighbors in soft, tranquil voices. Hannah and I were fantasizing about when this day would end when she reminded me that I still had to write this blog post.
And for a second, drowning in my own despair, I forgot where I was and half-whispered, half-yelled “FUCK” in a quiet yoga studio. I also curled up in a ball and rolled around on the floor a little bit. This move was less outlandish given my surroundings. Hann laughed at me the whole time.