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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I Am a Vessel. A Slightly Cracked and Momentarily Unfocused Vessel.

It was at the yoga studio, yesterday, that I was blessed, if you will, with the gift of distraction.  That is, distraction reared its shaggy, diverting head, and I managed to decline.

A yogic victory!

I did, of course, file said distraction away in order to write about it later.

You see, when you are in a yoga studio, it is because you truly want nothing more than to focus on movement and breath, to lose the many chattering monkeys that have taken residence in the brain. 

When you are in a yoga studio, mat stretched out afore you, your hair plaited into submission, mind on the hour ahead, one of the last things you need – aside from the realization that the bean burrito was a bad idea – is the groaning newbie next to you.

Look at him over there, vigorously swinging his limbs.  He wants you to know that he played sports as a youth, is ready to beat this next hour into compliance. 

And for the next hour, he grunts.  In a room silent of participant vocalizations outside of steady, exaggerated breathing, he moans.  He mutters “Oh, gosh”.  At one point – no lie – he growls.

Growls.

I allow myself one glance. It is, as it turns out, to be a glance executed at the same time as the woman on the other side of him.  Our eyes meet, widen.  A subtle shake of the head is shared, and we return to our asanas. 

And this is what yoga teaches us, grasshoppers:  The world intrudes, despite our sometimes ardent wish that it would not.  It is up to us to decide if it will affect us.

“Bite me,” the world says.

“Make me,” I say.

21 comments:

sage said...

Bean burritos, newbies & no chatter monkeys... Great writing, Pearl.

Shelly said...

Ah yes. The unwanted intrusions of the world and burly interlopers. This morning in the free weight area of the gym I put my earbuds in although they weren't attached to anything just to block out the groans and moans. Sounded like what a Parisian brothel must sound like...

Indigo Roth said...

Sorry, I couldn't get past "When you are in a yoga studio, mat stretched out afore you, your hair plaited into submission..." *goes for a lie down*

jenny_o said...

Maybe he was just releasing his inner pain. I find that when I exercise, just like when I get stressed, it helps my inner calm immensely when I vocalize a bit. You wouldn't want to deprive anybody of their inner calm, wouldja?!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

....annnddd that is why Dawn takes her lunch at 10 am to go to the company gym - the Grunters. They all show up at noon, as do the Overtop-the-Treadmill Shouters.

Geo. said...

"Chattering monkeys" in the brain. You've identified my problem perfectly, Pearl. Already, yoga has helped me so much I may try doing it myself. Thanks!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Shanti, shanti shanti!!! &*>

Almost Precious said...

Bravo, maestro. Love, love, love the ending:
"Bite me," the World says
"Make me," Pearl says

Great words of wisdom indeed. :)

Eva Gallant said...

Bean burritos could spell disaster in a yoga class, undoubtedly!

Leenie said...

As Yamani says: Shanti, shanti shanti.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I've been that guy, sadly.

goatman said...


Ego will reign!

Douglas said...

He grunts... shouldn't you be thankful that the noise came from his mouth rather than the other end of his alimentary canal?

River said...

Bean Burritos shall never pass my lips.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I am an old woman .. these days, grunting men just make me walk in the other direction. Unless they are doing yard work for me. besos, C

The Six-Fingered Monkey said...

Brilliant and so very true.

Lin said...

Oh, yes. I know what you are saying, Pearl. :)

There used to be a guy in the back who would snore during the meditation at the end of our yoga class. And he snored LOUD.

Rose L said...

LOL I love the chatter of monkeys in your head. I may steal that to use in a poem!

Suldog said...

I have great admiration for yoga people. The only time I took a class, I got a workout the likes of which I hadn't had in ages. Sweat poured off me. I like to think I'm in decent shape for a man my age, but if I ever went back to a yoga class again, it would shatter all my illusions and I'd have to start looking into retirement communities.

Daisy said...

Loved this! :-D

Namaste, Pearl!

Pat Tillett said...

What? Men are not supposed to do Yoga now? My wife and daughter go to "hot" yoga and want me to go with them. Despite my lead-in to this comment, I will never go to Yoga, hot or otherwise because I KNOW every woman in the room will be either be cursing at my noise, or rejoicing in my pain. NO! I won't go! Besides, I don't think I'd look so good in those yoga pants (or whatever you call them)