Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the opposite of zen

I used to practice yoga in the mornings, taking classes that lasted and hour and a half plus. By the time I left my house—half an hour early so I could get a good spot—practiced, and got home, I was killing almost 3 ours and half my day. I don't do that anymore. But, today I had some time and went to an extended 10:00 class, one I used to be a regular at.

J was there. I'll call her J, not that there's any chance she'll ever read this. She comes to the city from New Jersey 5 days a week, traveling almost 2 hours each way, just to take these classes. She's good. But not happy. Newly divorced, or at least divorcing. A lawyer who's been a stay-at-home mom for years. In spite of the practice, she exudes bitterness and negativity. Having said that, we were friends for a long time. She's funny, biting, sarcastic, witty, which was often a breath of fresh air amidst the incense. We were friends until one day, while she was recuperating from a broken bone in her hand, she mentioned that the way I practice (avoiding handstands at all costs) was "loser yoga." She was more bitter then than usual. Her only activity was sidelined. But still, it was a nasty thing to say. We stopped hanging out after that.

Today she came over and asked what I was doing there. Sort of friendly. Well, maybe I just wanted to think so. We talked for a minute, she set her mat up next to mine and then went to put her stuff away, saying she'd be right back so we could catch up. Then she talked to someone across the room for 10 minutes until class started. I was aware of her the entire class, wondering if she noticed how much I improved. Watching her to see if her hand was better, if she could still do crazy headstands in the middle of the room. After class she walked quickly away, as if she had no idea who I was.

I had been looking forward to this class all week, and spent most of it preoccupied and distracted. I'm grateful for my new classes, the goddesses I practice with, and that you can't go back.

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