Until recently, I had no interest in yoga. When I was physically active, I’d always done something aerobic with lots of impact and bouncing, like running, or, well, aerobics. Yoga was for those other people: people who … did yoga. The word itself made me think of incense and exotic music and hippies and Indian words like chakra.
Last year I met Christa, a fellow editor, for only the second time in person. We’d met years earlier at a conference, at which she led a workshop on Yoga for Editors. I didn’t understand why editors, or for that matter anybody in their right mind, would bother with all that twisting and bending. I didn’t participate in the workshop, but I remember seeing Christa doing one of those impossible-looking bending-backwards-till-your-hands-touch-the-floor moves. I thought the whole thing was a bit unusual, if not a little loopy. Why would any sane person do that? It just looked so … painful.
Last year when we met again, it was still months before I’d started this new hot yoga thing, and I had never done a yoga class or even tried a yoga pose at this point. I had mentioned on the phone that I’d recently gone vegan to lower my cholesterol levels. When we met for coffee at a busy restaurant, Christa insisted on showing me a few yoga poses and moves that were supposed to help reduce cholesterol. Right there, right away, in the restaurant. Her son Yarrow and her friend Stan calmly ignored us and kept chatting while we walked around and around looking for some space to do whatever it was we were going to do.
I don’t remember much other than being down on the floor beside Christa, both of us in the push-up or plank position, and listening intently to her instructions and following along with whatever moves she was doing, and watching the waitress’s feet going back and forth a few inches from our faces. That’s a pleasant and funny memory for me, that visual of those feet going back and forth almost under my nose. It might not have been that much fun for the poor waitress, however.
Christa, you planted a few seeds that day, there, down on the floor in the coffee shop. Thank you again. That was my first-ever experience of doing yoga. I’m sure few in my yoga class, or anywhere, can say their introduction to yoga was on the floor of a busy coffee shop. And, not that she’ll ever read this, but apologies again to the waitress, who was very sweet about it. I’m not entirely sure about that last bit, but at least nobody kicked us. I’m sure about that.
More to follow. Namaste