I got to my hot yoga class and set up my mat on the wonderful, radiantly warmed floor as usual. Then proceeded to go to the back corner to get my block and strap. Dodging all the cute university girls and hippi bearded guy before returning to the 2″x7″ long place I would call my own for the next 75mins. I sat down in my usual virasana pose. In 95F degree heat. And began to slow my breathing.
Many women were already stretching and posing. Posturing even perhaps, for the shirtless frat guy who was already sweating in the warmth. Maybe they were just warming up in anticipation of the upcoming gruelling asanas that would get all our butts into shape and knock our egos back into reality. Or maybe they were testing the weak points of newly purchased yoga clothes to ensure full coverage during twisty, bendy pretzel manoeuvres that we could practice inversions from. Either way, the room was filled with this intense energy to go, and this feeling of silent calm that whatever road we went on, we were in it together, all 16 of us, for the next 75min.
I closed my eyes and just focused on stillness, silence. Breathing in deeply, loving the moment. Someone new came into the room and I opened my eyes. Not the instructor yet. But before returning to my inner bliss, I couldn’t take my eyes away from the top of my mat. My strap sat there all alone. Where was my block? I put it there specifically, just like I always do.
I turned to the girl on my right and she had a block. Had she swiped mine while my eyes were closed? Seriously, whoever was too much of a lazy ass to get up and walk to the back of the room to get their own damn block was going to hear from me.
I turned to my left and although frat boy didn’t have one, with the amount of sweating he was doing I thought he probably could use one. After all, if you already look fluish before class has even started, there is no way you can expect to hold any poses without major support. I don’t care how big your muscles are.
Two mats over that girl has a block. Her in the hot pink sports bra and tie dye pants. And she was upside down in headstand. Showoff. I mean seriously who does that shit before class starts? Bet she thinks she’s better than the rest of us and has the need to demonstrate, in case the opportunity doesn’t arise during the actual yoga class. Bet she stole my block too. Besides if she thinks she’s that much better than me, then taking my block while my eyes are closed probably isn’t a stretch.
Or maybe its the guy two rows up who stole it. He looks new and anxious. Or the girl beside him. My eyes scan the room and find thieves on every mat.
I shift on my mat. Glaring at everyone around me. Where is the thief? And who would be so brazen and rude as to swipe another person’s block? The room feels hot and small. I feel angry and my breathing is fast.
Then I feel it. My block is beneath me. In virasana for extended periods the block takes the strain off the knees, hence why I put it there because I was 10min early. I laugh at myself. The utter silliness. The anger melts away. The girl next to me catches my eye and smiles as she reaches for her water. I can see frat boy using his towel to mop off the sweat from his brow. His well used, obviously aged-from-many-yoga-classes, towel. And the girl two mats down comes out of headstand and settles into a seated pace on her mat. I am back in the same room as I started. Warm, inviting and energizing.
And I realize the only thing I have to work on today is my own mind.
Oh yoga, if there isn’t something new I get from it every time. Even before the class has started.