Monday, January 19, 2009

celebrating ali

As I was walking through the snow to yoga this afternoon, I remembered the first time I ever took Ali's class at Laughing Lotus.

It was a snowy afternoon, the class was at 4:15, so the sky wasn't dark yet. It was my 4th week at the studio—I didn't yet know how early you had to be to score a good spot (back row, left corner), so I walked in to find the class cram packed. Ali walked over and found me a spot in the front row. FRONT ROW. My worst nightmare. I was up in the corner so I couldn't look to others for guidance. I didn't know the chants or many of the poses, but soon Ali's soundtrack washed over me—man, she can put together a playlist that moves and grooves. As we practiced, I watched the snow fall against the cast iron building across the street and the sky darken, through the windows hung with heavy velvet curtains. Car headlights glistened below and all sound from outside was muffled as we down dogged and warriored through class.

As we ended and laid down for shavasana, I was amazed that not only had I survived, but I felt this inner grace and beauty I hadn't felt in yoga before. And then, as I slipped towards the edges of bliss, Ali gave me the most delicious foot massage. I fell in love. With yoga, with her class, with Laughing Lotus.

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