Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The creepy student

My yoga studio is hosting a 30-day challenge that started yesterday. The class I went to yesterday was probably the fullest I had ever seen in Mobile. The studio I visited in New Orleans regularly crams 30 people into a 20'x20' room (I'm guesstimating), but Mobile never gets that tight. It was actually so crowded that I resorted to setting up camp in a spot up front by the teachers' stage. That particular area is not very popular, as you might imagine.

I laid on my mat before class started, sweating in the room's 105 degree heat and also because I was nervous about being in front of everybody. And lo-and-behold, who unrolls her mat beside mine? My favorite instructor at the studio. I love her classes because she has this soft, soothing voice and it's easy to forget how hard my body is working when I'm listening to her talk. I fall right into those repetitive, meditative words and before I know it, we're laying in final savasana. When we practice in the same class (under another teacher's instruction), I always find myself peeking at her, admiring the depth of her expression just before I lose my balance and distract the whole room with my clumsiness. Anyway, she's kind of my yoga role model and taking a class right next to her only compounded my anxiety.

Through the entire class, I stared intently at my reflection in the mirror to inspire my own focus. I did not dare look over to the right at her reflection, lest I break posture or, even worse, accidentally make eye contact with her and forever mark myself as "the creepy student". Luckily, the class went really well. I made good progress in some of the spine-strengthening stuff and I think I even got a compliment from the instructor for my head to knee with stretching.

And when it was all over, as I wobbled toward the studio exit on my exhausted yoga legs, my yoga role model said "McCrae, I really enjoyed practicing next to you today." She's so nice.

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