I go to yoga seldom enough to miss it when I am not there: sometimes twice a week, sometimes twice a month, sometimes every twice month. I miss it because I feel my abs deflating and I feel an intuitive pull towards child’s pose, which is really just lying down on one’s face. But what I realize, every time I “arrive on my mat,” is that I haven’t missed the yoga talk.
It’s a jargon that grates at me, maybe because of its recent mainstream appearance on lunch bags or because of something more. I think it’s a feeling of being on the outside, wanting to be in.
I’m sure all resident doctors feel this, all aspiring baristas and apprentice sorcerers. Everyone wants to be at the point where they can use the jargon without feeling they’re faking it. There’s probably always a moment where one tries to distance oneself from it by mocking it. A resident mocks the doctor for the nickname he gives a scalpel, or whatever. But there’s probably also always a moment where one tries it out for the first time, feeling the absurdity roll clumsily of the tongue: “It was nice practicing next to you today.”
I go to so many of these yoga classes and at the end, and at the beginning, and all the way through, I wonder how these teachers can be faking it so bad. They surely don’t actually want me to tell my neighbour one gift I will be giving someone for Christmas, (for example, the gift of my time)? They surely didn’t ask me to run around the room and hug people? They surely didn’t mean that this class was going to be focused on passing energy to someone else by holding in my pelvic floor muscles in mulabanda?
Then there are moments where I hear someone who isn’t. Where I hear a teacher who has so honestly connected with the talk. And I wonder if it’s just me who is the problem here. Maybe yoga isn’t my way of being, my way of seeing the world.
There is one saying on that unmistakable, ubiquitous Lululemon bag that bothered me so much for so long but has since become my favourite saying. It reads: “Don’t let what is most important give way to what is least important.” At first I thought it so shoddy, so simplified and common. But the saying has popped into my mind at several moments, enough to let me know I’d been moved. When I’m driving and I want to check a text message, I tell myself to not let what is most important (my life and others’ lives) give way to what is least (emoticons). I read it off a yoga bag but I made it mine.
I’m finding it hard to sit through 90 minutes of someone else’s yoga talk, but I am learning to tune it out. And then once in a while I hear gems. And maybe they touch me because you feel it, or maybe they touch me because I’m feeling the same thing, right then, but that connection seems to be what I’m there for when I go to yoga: some other reason, some higher reason for stretching my muscles and opening my heart.