Portland makes you a little granola. You want to wear Keen shoes and cotton, stretchy pants, sit cross-legged while you have your coffee and read some undiscovered first edition poetry book by Amy Ray or someone.
Since I’m working eastern standard hours, I need to find something productive with my afternoons. That, and I need to be sociable (since I work from home), and not get fat (since I work from home). I decided to sign up for some yoga classes down the street. It’s been years since I contorted myself to the sport, but I hate jogging or doing anything that makes me sweat a lot, really… unless it’s eating at Duff’s (mmmmm Duff’s). I got an introductory deal for $20… unlimited classes for two weeks. Unheard of in the city. That would’ve cost me at least a hundred bucks, plus the judgments from snobby regulars with fantastic postures.
Here’s how my first class went:
Counter lady: Here’s your mat. Down the hall, on the left.
I go down the hall and open the door to the studio. I’m 20 minutes early so there are only a couple of people warming up. One is up-side-down, the other is sitting cross-legged with a 24oz. water bottle on her head. I closed the door. I’m early. I’ll wait.
Fifteen minutes later I go back into the dark room with up-side-down people, and it started filling up. Some people had stretchy bands wrapped around their heads and connected to their feet. Some were doing headstands. Some were laying on purple bricks. Some were breathing loudly. I asked a regular, “do I need one of these bricks?” “Um, I mean, we don’t know what she’ll use today.” I grab one anyway and sit back down. After a few minutes of watching contortionists, I realize, this can’t be the class for beginners.
I lean over to a guy with his upper back perched on a brick, “This isn’t Beginners Yoga, is it?”
“Oh, no no. That’s next door.” Thank G-d.
Grab my mat, push through rubber band lady and snobby brick girl with tight pants and go into the right room. This one had 5 people, not 25, was brightly lit and had a bunch of people with lousy postures and smiles looking hopeful. Definitely in the right place.
“HIIIII. I’m PAM!”
“Hi, Pam. I’m Jaime. This must be Beginners Yoga.”
“Yes, this iiiiiissss,” says friendly Pam, the yogi, who talks with her lips pursed and quiet enough that I know she guides meditation.
“That explains why everyone in the other room was up-side-down.”
Awkward smile… she’s thinking, “Is this what humans call sarcasm?” Yes, Pam. It is.
Thirteen days to go to make this $20 worth while.
And why does everything they say end in “anasanaaaaa?”