It had been raining on and off all day. The dirt on the granite pathways grows darker in hue when it rains. I head towards the yoga building, passing the barren wintering grape vines.
I sit down on a low pine bench, with compartments underneath for shoes, and pull off my running shoes and tuck my socks inside. In my case, we should call them “walking on flat ground” shoes. I put my room key inside my sweatshirt along with my water bottle, making sure the spout on top is closed so I won’t come back to a wet sweat.
I walk into the room, windows on three sides, and the interior wall covered floor to ceiling with mirrors. A dense wool carpet covers the floor, and the distinctive stench of an entire day of wet feet and hair on the wool permeates the class from the moment I arrive. Great.
I grab a heavy Mexican blanket, and a couple of blocks, a strap, a yoga mat, and a neck pillow. I make my way across the room to my favorite corner, way in the back row. Soft Middle Eastern music is playing, and I lay on my back with my knees bent, eyes, closed and feel a bit of a draft as the others settle in.
The teacher arrives, and asks for assistance bringing in crystal bowls from the closet hidden behind the mirrors. Several people volunteer silently while the other 20 of us try to breathe slower, and calm our busy minds.
When she is ready to begin the class, she rings a chime and the sound reverberates throughout the room, creating soul penetrating, mournful tones in all of the bowls that surround her place at the front of the class.
I begin to itch and the small of the wet wool is becoming aggressively nauseating. The woman next to me is wearing some sort of heavy perfume, or heavily scented body lotion and my head stats to ache as my sinuses seize up. It’s too late to move, so I try to move past it.
Everyone sits up and turns so they are facing the teacher. The sound of flesh and fabric on the textured plastic mats briefly distracts me from my condition, which is worsening as the moments pass.
Downward dog, she says, and we all get into position. This is one pose I can do despite my clumsiness. I’ve never admitted it out loud until last year, but Yoga frustrates me because I can’t sit on the top of my feet- my body just won’t do that.