Thursday, March 31, 2011

Confessions of a yoga groupie

This morning, I did full primary and second up to pincha mayurasana. I had to crank up the heat in my apartment a little higher today (up to 75 degrees fahrenheit); it was quite cold this morning, as it snowed all last night. Seriously... it's still snowing on March 31st? Some wise guy once said that winter always turns to spring... well, he forgot to add that sometimes it takes longer.

Practice this morning was surprisingly good, despite (1) the fact that I had to stay up late last night to pack for my Richmond trip, (2) I had to practice on a green Gaiam mat, as I had already packed my mysore rug in my suitcase. The higher heat level in the apartment probably helped. The pace of practice was faster this morning, and I felt warmer, stronger and more flexible. Kapotasana felt a little easier than usual.

After practice, I showered and went down to the coffeeshop in my apartment complex for a quick espresso before going to campus. The barista saw me carrying the green Gaiam mat. She asked me if I was going to a yoga class. I said, "Well, kind of. After school today, I'm going down to Minneapolis-St. Paul, where I will catch a flight early tomorrow morning to Virginia to take a yoga workshop." I realized immediately that none of this was making any sense to her, because she had this really baffled look on her face. "What kind of a madman flies to the other end of the country just to take a yoga class?" She must be thinking.

This was when I realized that some kind of special explanation was needed. And then, a light bulb came on in my head. I said, "I have a favorite yoga teacher. She is teaching a workshop in Richmond, Virginia this weekend, and I am attending it. You see, I'm basically a yoga groupie; when I'm not working, I fly around the country taking workshops with my favorite yoga teachers." This explanation did the trick; I had barely finished when a look of understanding mingled with admiration and awe (and, perhaps, also a little envy at my jet-setting lifestyle) lit up her face.

And then she told me that she had been thinking of starting yoga, but has back issues, and is intimidated by all those power yoga classes. I suddenly remembered this local yoga teacher I had run into at that same coffeeshop the other day; she was just starting to teach classes in the area, and was struggling to get people to attend her classes. I pointed to a flyer that she had put up on the bulletin board in the coffeeshop, and suggested to the barista that she get in touch with this teacher. I said that since she doesn't have many students now, she'll probably be in a good position to work with her on a one-on-one basis, and help her address her specific issues.

I feel good about what I did and said to the barista. I feel that I have helped a struggling yoga teacher to possibly get one more student, and hopefully, in this way, advance the movement of yoga (even if not Ashtanga yoga) here in the upper midwest.

As I mentioned, I'm heading out to Kino's workshop tonight. I don't know if I'll have time to post anything over the weekend. We'll see. But I'll definitely share what I can when I get back next week, if I don't get to post this weekend.

May the Force be with you.    


  1. Your barista story was lovely. Happy travels.

  2. Thanks, s.f. :-) Glad you liked the story.

  3. So exciting!! I hope the barista actually takes the first step to try out yoga. I've talked to tons of people who told me they want to try out yoga but never bothered to actually go even though I handed them complementary passes to the yoga studio I attend. Have fun at Kino's workshop!

  4. Yes, Yyogini, I also hope she takes that first step on the yoga journey. I think the hardest step for most people is that first step.