She came walking into the Yoga I class tonight leading with her chest, the small of her back slightly arched, wearing a teeny tiny yoga tank top and perfectly fitting yoga pants clinging to her tight little yoga butt. Even though there was plenty of space in the room, she made her way right up to the very front and unrolled her mat directly in front of mine. After tossing around her thick, waist-length blonde hair a couple of times, she twisted it up in a neat knot upon her head and began to stretch out, exhibiting some rather impressive flexibility. Although I tried to focus on my own practice, she was distracting, and it was almost impossible not to notice.
She was able to raise herself way up high in the Cobra pose (Bhujangasana). Her Bow pose (Dhanurasana) looked like a perfect rocking boat. Her Triangle pose (Trikonasana) was quite aligned. About ten minutes before Final Relaxation (Savasana), she released her hair from its moorings and shook it around a few more times, which seemed as if for effect. After class she rolled up her berry-colored mat, threw back her shoulders, pulled in her already flat stomach, tossed her hair around yet again and just stood there for a moment or two with a self-satisfied look – I would call it the Notice-me pose (Egocentrasana). And then she left.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I am not supposed to notice, and certainly not to care. I know I am supposed to keep my mind clear. She probably just came to this particular class to keep up with her own practice, and I will say I did admire what I saw. But I have to tell you, what I really was wondering – did she come to Yoga I to strut her stuff to the mixture of newbies, inflexibles, the overweight and the middle-aged people who come to this class? I was questioning why she wasn’t in Yoga II or Vinyasa Flow, or one of the more advanced and challenging classes. I was considering if, in a way, her presence was meant as a challenge to my own ego, and if I should explore that. I was speculating if she was going to come back next week. I was kind of hoping that she wouldn’t…and that she would.
Perhaps the Universe placed her there meant for admiration or for inspiration…… or as a taunt. I meditated on that for bit…….and then I let it go……
I totally remember the pressure to look good in the 70s at the Manhattan women’s gym I belonged to. Like I really truly cared about whether my leotard matched my leggings, really. Of course, in those days I had a bod to strut 😦
Newsweek magazine arrived today. Page 8: “Bow Down To The Yoga Teacher” I read it after I read your post and had an Aha moment. Bet your little chickie is a yoga teacher!
“Egocentrasana” – love it!!
Totally agreed with your post. Thanks for sharing.