Pieces of Me #4 – Accidental yoga

nov 17So I’m heading to my yoga class. There are three weeks left of the semester and I am only just showing up now. Apparently I registered for it and forgot to drop it, so I’m on the hook for $682 for a credit kinesiology class, the last class I need to complete my Bachelor’s degree in French, and there is a very strong chance I could receive a failing grade on my transcript in a 100-level yoga class. Now that would be embarrassing.

Explaining my situation to the professor, he seemed enormously understanding of my dilemma – “I want to help,” he said – and encouraged me to come to class. The parking lot, however, was a sprawling sea of discouragement.

I left a half an hour early, and started at the Centre for Kinesiology. No luck. In fact, traffic was lined up for the visitor stalls. I moved on to the education building – same thing – then Luther and Campion colleges. I was getting panicky. I’d wasted 20 minutes and the only spots available were handicap. I kept searching – it was like looking for a needle in a haystack: worse, because there were a million other vehicles also looking for the same needle.

The university universe is against me, I shrieked inside my head because I am a grown-up and I don’t have hissy fits out loud, obviously – just really unpleasant internal tantrums. Believe me, the irony of this amount of angst over being late for my yoga class was not lost on me.

Finally, I found a damn parking spot. It was four buildings over. If I was going to make it clear across campus with only five minutes until the class started, I would need to book it.

I must have made quite a sight sprinting through the language building with my yoga mat like I was late for a meeting with the Prime Minister – like I was late for yoga with the Prime Minister. I ran across the green and through the education building…and then I stopped.

I’ve never been to the second floor of the kinesiology building and my class was on the second floor. Okay, look for an elevator. Found it!

My class was supposedly in room 210, but because the university universe is working against me, there is no rhyme or reason as to how rooms are numbered. For instance, room 218 is located next to room 206, which is the swimming pool gallery and that is next to rooms 213 and 214. I missed 211. Maybe it doesn’t exist. Room 210 is apparently a storage closet.

No, I didn’t have the wrong room number, the kinesiology department apparently puts yoga in an over-sized storage closet.

I was the last person to arrive after all that and I hurried to peel off my winter clothing and socks and unfold my yoga mat.

Now, I have to admit I’m kind of embarrassed about the state of my yoga mat. When Flayla was a puppy, she mistook it (or overtook it) for a bacon and bone-chewing mat. As a result, it kind of looks like someone took out a personal vendetta on the poor thing. There are some serious gouges in it and even some holes.

Too late to worry about that now – the class was starting and my professor, Colin, was already talking about meditation. Oh God, I really am going to fail this class.

I’d taken a yoga class from Colin before, years ago – I think it was my third year of university. I still remember some of his advice about how to practice yoga from that class. But I forgot how big of a character he was.

“A stretchy groin is a happy groin,” he muses during some of our opening positions. “My gramma used to say that.” Then he laughs.

Then we did child’s pose. Just so you know, my mat still smells like bacon, well actually more like bacon-flavoured dog breath. It’s a super calming scent.

“You might have experienced this sometime this semester already, where you just lose 5 or 10 minutes,” Colin was beginning his lecture on focal concentration and meditation.

Yep, I’ve definitely experienced that this semester. Thanks to Lorazapam, I’ve had quite a few moments of internal peace. I sort of half-seriously wondered to myself if that counted for something. Wait…counted for what? It’s not like he was giving us marks for our ability to exist without external distraction. Can you just calm the fuck down and take something away from this class for crying out loud?

It’s not until the end of the class where I begin to feel something. I close my eyes and count up and down from 5 like Colin told us to do. My body turns to liquid. It moves like a wave, or a ripple, as if no part of me was solid anymore.

I don’t know if that is meditation or hallucination – for the number of hours I’d been awake at this point, the latter might be more plausible.

But I do know this is the most relaxed I’ve felt all week – for exactly two and a half minutes.

When we are finished for the evening I speak to Colin about catching up on the missed assignments and thank him for letting me in his class.

“Yeah, it’s a bit strange,” he says. “But life is strange sometimes.”

You’re telling me – everything about life is strange sometimes – from forgotten yoga classes, to parking lot chaos, and liquid sensations – I don’t understand it at all. Then again, sometimes things come together so well it’s obvious there’s a designer that intends for our lives to meet. Just keep remembering that…