Spring Break has arrived, the free time allowing a large number of particularly young, bendy creatures to descend upon the yoga studio.
Have you been to my yoga studio? Crawling with earnest, friendly folk, clear-eyed and sincere, I am given hope that the current generation of young adults is not as self-centered as, well, I was.
We shed many things in the practice of yoga: our attachment to outcome, our clothing…
How often do you get naked while there are strangers in the room? If you’re like me, pre-yoga, the answer to this question is “rarely”.
It’s not easy, the first couple of times.
There are some, undeniably, who cannot wait to stand around naked. They come out of the showers, a towel wrapped about their heads. Nude from the scalp down, they eventually remove the turban, only to stand, nude, in front of the mirrors in order to blow dry their hair.
These people should not be trusted.
But not everyone is comfortable in their skin.
Last week I watched a young woman change her clothes without removing her coat.
We’ll pause for a moment while that sinks in.
Can I get you a coffee? No? I know of an unlocked candy drawer around here if you – no? OK.
She stood there, the poor little doe, in a coat that reached mid-calf. Balancing on first one leg, then the other, she removed her socks, pants, and underwear in a hunched-back dance of shyness almost too painful to behold.
One can’t help but look. What’s she doing? Normally I am too concerned with stuffing my clothes into a locker to notice the people around me, but the coat, coupled with her furtive, please-don’t-look-at-me movements, is magnetic.
Surely she will have to take off her coat to change her top, won’t she?
No. She will not. Huddled, she disappears in a quilted, lumpy demonstration of flexibility that bodes well for the hour of yoga ahead of her.
I leave the locker room while she finishes.
She’s young, she’s good looking, and she’s awkwardly unsure of her place in the world.
From one generation to the next, I want to tell her: Honey, it gets better.