It is a typical Friday; I have to agree with my immediate boss for sixteen times, fourteen of which I strongly despise and the other two times I am too hungry to start a revolution I know I can’t see through so I say “absolutely” and go for Starbucks instead. Revolutionizing corporate America will have to be carried out another time. Totally stay tuned.
On my way back home, I have to listen to a homeless preacher preaching about “JESUS” on the train. Sure, he is loud and smells a bit but a bit is better than a lot and he makes me day-dream about changing the way Jesus looked. Like, what if we shaved his beard off completely and gave him the allure and charisma of a strong leader we follow today. Obama maybe? A black Jesus? Hold that thought for another day, for sure. But basically, salvation is not going to come from Jesus tonight. He might save; but not me. On this particular Friday night, yoga will save me, not because I am a Hindu but because I like breathing and stretching in a safe environment where a pose named tree is considered legal (I’m watching you. You know who you are) and nobody judges you for perfectionism over downward-facing dog in, well, perfect form.
With a towel in my hands and class pass that gives me access to eternal and internal peace, I walk right in to my yoga class, grab a mat, not be disgusted by the several thousand people before me doing long, relaxing child’s poses on it and dive straight into action, as dutifully as a girl scout on cookie mission.
One perfect, harmonized, synchronized om starts it all, though some people are definitely slacking. They don’t om; they expect you to do the job for them even when the job is to relax; ugh typical! But this is not the time or place to rant; this is where I must let go so I stop thinking and just keep oming no matter how some of my yogi neighbors seem to regard the whole notion as too weird and would not let their voice boxes participate in the action. Please, they have standards sister and I, the overly enthusiastic omer, just fell below them. Moving on.
For the beginning poses some yoga teachers take the peaceful road and start with an easy breathing exercise while others make you feel like they’ve been handed their yoga teaching certificate by Gandhi himself. They do not joke around and command for a perfect head stand right away. Just joking. We’re not on the Indian Himalayas; this is the Upper West Side and we are in a yoga class full of middle-aged Jewish women and three mixed-race men. I am pretty proud to say that one of them is my Turkish-American husband. I love it when a large man enjoys his yoga and religiously follows the instructor’s position commands. He oms, too! I definitely hit the jackpot with him.
Between the warm-up poses and finishing touches on extreme stretching, you spend about an hour taking a trip among poses that are named after surprising things from an interesting palette of animals to common house-hold items and occasionally planets. Half-cobra, pigeon, cat, half moon, cow, chair, warrior, triangle and eagle are among the favorites of our yoga teacher. Then of course there is the happy baby pose. Apparently babies become really playful when they’re happy and for a ten pound, twenty inch creature who is as flexible as a rubber band, it’s not a problem to lay flat on its back, rocking from side to side while holding its two flexed feet with its hands on each side. That particular movement might not be a problem for me (a fully-grown adult) either but I also painfully remember at times that babies are not discouraged from relieving themselves of internal burdens in the form of gas.
Wouldn’t it be extremely comfortable to just let go of a long, hard day’s post-lunch gaseous accumulations while we’re in the happy baby pose? Wouldn’t it just make us so much happier and thus better in line with our happy baby pose? There’s a noble Turkish saying that goes like this: bad things can’t stay in good people. Farts: bad. Hardworking, stress-prone, yoga-loving people: good. I am just going to go ahead and declare farting as socially acceptable and in fact encouraged in happy baby poses in all yoga classes around the nation with an ultimate goal of legitimizing the practice on a global (intergalactic) level.
I am only kidding, dear reader. Why so serious?! I never fart. Do you? Eew! It’s like I’m too noble to execute such a vulgar gesture. Even if I did, I am sure it would smell like fresh strawberry milkshake. Yeah, that’s what I want to leave you with; refreshing clouds of strawberry incense coming out of yogi bottoms in happy baby poses. Om motherflowers.
Recommended watching: Namaste, Bitches