Sunday Salutations

Mostly-crappy weekend weather had me taking multiple trips to the yoga studio to milk my $50 unlimited month-long membership before it expires. I’ve attended 8 classes so far, meaning I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth since the going per-class rate in the Boston area is $14-17. But I’ll pass on the $105 monthly membership because driving to this Davis Square yoga studio has become the bane of my existence. For now, I’ll continue to poach introductory “new student” offers at area studios — hopefully ones with better parking.

On Sunday, I wasn’t the only person looking for a sheltered place to do Sun Salutations. The 9:30am class was already packed by 9:15am. Three times I moved my mat to eek out a few inches of free space so someone could unfurl her mat. I felt very un-Zen for irkly noting that the front of my mat was centimeters away from the back of a mat upon which a tall, hairy man in baggy gym shorts fought to touch his knees. I know I’m progressing in yoga because it wasn’t the prospect of catching glimpses of his fleshy, woolly body parts that bothered me — I’m so focused on my body and my breath that I hardly notice my classmates. Unless, of course, I get kicked in the head during three-legged dog pose.

I don’t get distracted during class, but before class, I totally check out my fellow yogis. My stealthy gaping probably stems from my own cluelessness about how to occupy myself before the instructor takes command. Many people lay down on their mats with their legs either in bound angle pose or full-out savanasa, but I can’t bring myself to do this when my morning energy is jangling like a slot machine. Some people are stretching or even doing pose sequences, which is sort of like snacking on bacon before a roast ham dinner.

I can’t help but to assign some meaning to a person’s choosen pre-class activity: What does it say about you and what you’re looking to get out of the yoga experience? Are you gung-ho about flexibility and muscle tone? Or is yoga your time to redress stress? Once I sat kitty-coner to a woman who was taking advantage of being barefoot and idle by peeling dead skin off the ball of her foot with a serene, blissed out look on her face. Obviously, her mind was on a higher plane.

This may well be my last class at the fancy Davis Square yoga studio. I sit cross-legged, my spine drinking in one last slouch, my palms planted behind my hips. I watch the women tip-toeing around the studio, looking for vacancies.

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