So I was laying on my yoga mat Tuesday, pressing my forehead into the ground, as is my wont, when it occurred to me that I have entered a new stage in my life.
The stage wherein I successfully cage my inner monkey.
There we were, in the yoga studio. The temperature in the room is this side of “Bake”, the humidity just short of awakening the vestigial gills I’ve been holding on to for just such an occasion. Perspiration rolling off us, we are contemplating the next move (“you will plant your hands on your mat, shoulder-width apart, tuck your knees up into your armpits and simply lift yourself off the ground”). We are inches from each other, breathing deeply and rhythmically.
Yessiree, Bob, there we are: just me and 49 of my favorite people (between the hours of 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.).
And it wasn’t long ago that my brain would’ve chosen this very moment to ricochet with distracted, babbling thoughts. It’s too hot! Too hot! What’s the temperature in here? How much longer before I can lay down and play dead? Have I mentioned that it’s too hot?
Indulging my inner monkey is not why I go to yoga. She has to stop.
The monkey casts a sideways glance at the tepid moat of sweat surrounding the mat of the man eight inches to my right and begins to work on the comment that will keep me from concentrating. I successfully fight her back into the same corner of my mind where I keep Metallica lyrics and the closing times of local fast food joints. I promise her that we’ll look for trophy-sized cigarette butts on the way home and watch Cops after my shower.
The monkey loves Cops.
Don’t get me wrong. The monkey keeps me entertained, says terrible and amusing things I cannot repeat about the woman in the gold Spandex and the odds of finding loose change in the folds that make up much of her topography.
And it was the monkey who suggested I turn off my iPod Monday morning and listen in on the disagreement between Pookie and Boo.
Frankly, Boo’s trippin’.
This is the same monkey, however, who makes obscene references during solemn moments and encourages me to eat uncooked cake batter. The same monkey who likes to inline skate drunk and quit my jobs.
She’s had a good run, that monkey.
Hey. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy her chattering. I’m not even saying that there isn’t room, now and then, for the way she stares at my fellow commuters.
I’m saying that sometimes, she gets in my way.
And so I’m harnessing my inner monkey.
I welcome this new stage.