Thursday, September 8, 2011

99% Perspiration

Like most of my generation, my siblings, parents and grandparents have chosen their places of residence based on family. Specifically, how far away can I move to ensure they will not pop in for surprise visits?

While eliminating the tedium of family dinners, we have now ensured exotic vacations are a thing of the past too. Self-centered destination retreats have given way to visits to the family bases. Specifically, my vacations have been replaced because I have been deemed the most mobile of my family. My refusal to have children, freelance career and major airport hub city have made me the prime candidate for a nomadic lifestyle. The rotation, kept as strict as tribes moving from planting ground to hunting ground, has me bouncing between Chicago, Washington D.C., Detroit, St. Louis and St. Petersburg.

I love my family, I really do, but most of them are far more sedentary than I am (heck, most gazelles are). By mid-day on day one, I begin a Mr. Bojangles routine that would make me a pretty penny on any street-corner in New York. In each of my temporary residences I have a yoga studio to stop the tweaking.*

In home base #3 (Detroit) I usually have a pretty rough class. I'm not sure why, but I always end up trying desperately not to loose control of my breath by the end. The places where my heart-rate are supposed to decrease come and go without respite. I stare intensely at the ceiling fan above my head willing it to spin faster (our gazes transfer energy, right?).

Upon my most recent visit to this studio, the person next to me announced herself as a first-time practitioner. I felt a little bad that she would have to experience her first class with me trying to cling to sanity through the mental madness that is this particular studio for me. I did everything I could to be strong that class. Still, I found myself panting like a dog by the end, as usual.

At the final savasana I was trying to get the gasping down to a minimum, counting my breaths: in... one... two... three... four... five... six... out... one... two.... when the persevering first-timer leaned over and whispered, "You're perspiring."

I thought this was a most lovely gesture. Here I was, about willing to die and the brave new yogi made a 'captain obvious' joke to ground me; reminding me that we are all just as comically sweaty and gross. I laughed and responded, "I know!" and laid back down, comforted by the laughter.

Two seconds later, I popped back up, my eyes widened in horror as I realized what was actually said.

The new girl did not say, "PERspiring." She had said, "INspiring." As in, "You are very inspiring," and my response, with a cocky little giggle, had been, "I KNOW.

So, yeah, girl who took her first class at the Farmington Hills studio, I swear I misheard you through the blood pumping feverishly in my ears.

For every other yogi out there, if you ever hear a rumor that Bikram yogis are conceited, it's my fault. I'm sorry.

* With the exception of St. Petersburg. For mercy's sake, will someone please open a studio on the West side of Florida?!!


  1. LOL!!! omg too funny! well, you simply acknowledged her feelings. what else can you do? it would be rude otherwise LOL.

    yeah, i'm the most mobile too. and most distant. i guess there IS a correlation there.

    still laughing here, yogi.

  2. Oh dear!!! But great material for a blog post, no? I'll be giggling about this all day!

    Ps: My home studio! Compared to other studios I have practiced at, I think they keep it relatively hot. Or do you have a different explanation? I'm curios.

  3. @ Little Piggy: I had never thought of it that way. Yeah. Acknowledgment. That's what that was. :P PS We will make our treks together in spirit! Stay strong, my Bedouin sister!

  4. @ Simmm: I've noticed that although all the studios keep humidity and temperature pretty consistant, airflow isn't regulated. The studios I have the most problems with usually (although not always) have little circulation. Of course, a lot of times Im just trying to blame the room for the Twinkie I had back in '83 working it's way out.

  5. Hmmm, Good point on the circulation... Some days I'd really like to know the oxygen content in the room. Not specifically in this studio but in general.

  6. Well hello Simmm! Fancy seeing you here :) @Kate: that is too funny. I think yoga brain takes over and we hear what we think instead of listening sometimes, that beautiful/scary place between reality and the mirror... like when the teacher says something to you 100 times but you don't hear it till she/he is like HEY YES YOU, LOCK THAT KNEE.

  7. Well said, Michelle! Agreed, the same dialogue every day and still, I hear new things all the time! I also like the fact that the term, "Yoga Brain" seems to be universal.