I did it. I finally got in the car and drove myself to a yoga class. A therapeutic yoga class- just what I'd been looking for, it would be gentle on my body. It would help me stretch my muscles and my comfort zones in new ways. I walked in the door of the yoga studio and dutifully noted the signs posted warning me to enter using a quiet voice. A woman greeted me enthusiastically from behind high piles of papers on the reception desk. She welcomed me and pointed me toward a place to leave my shoes and then waved her arm in the direction of the bathrooms. There was paper work to fill out, of course, but my new friend said that it could wait. Settling in to the warmly lit and beautifully simple surroundings, I rounded the corner and plunked off my shoes. With about 8 minutes left before class, I headed to the bathroom.
The studio is in a large and recently constructed building in the kind of urban community where businesses of all types share some walls and common spaces. In an effort to be more green or to save money, or perhaps one of those moments where both were possible, the businesses don't have private bathrooms. I remembered this only as I walked in my sock covered feet through the door marked "bathrooms." I opened the door and left the clean wood and cork surfaces behind and entered a dark hall of cinder blocks. I quickly stepped back into the friendlier space, second guessing my need to use the bathroom. But my body had other plans, so I turned back towards the hall of mystery. My eyes were adjusting and looking for signs to the bathroom as my hand reached behind me to close the heavy metal door. Its heavy and decisive closing click caused me to jump a bit. I stopped and reached back to try the knob. It mocked me by refusing to turn. "Well, this would be the way," I thought. "I made it here. And now I'm going to spend the class time locked in a dark deserted cindered hall." The kind of laughter that begins nervously in the back of your throat and then spreads into your chest and before it begins to shake your whole body- you know the kind, right? Well, that laughter found me in the dark utilitarian hallway. I made my way to the bathroom still laughing almost hysterically. While wiping laugh inspired tears from my eyes, I heard someone else enter the bathroom. Saved! I'd make it to class after all.
As I walked back towards the studio, I thought back to that early January day when I decided that one step in my healing journey would be starting the yoga practice I've long craved. I found this class and over the last month I'd exchanged a series of emails with the instructor. Each message further reassured me that this woman could help me. Her responses to my questions were calm, useful and insightful. Unlike my dvd sessions with poor Rodney Yee, I probably would not mutter and occasionally shout at this kind and responsive teacher. To my relief, this proved true, I was a much better student for my new three dimensional teacher. For an hour and 15 minutes today, I turned my phone off and stepped into a quieter, slower space. I loved it. It has taken me 13 years to get there, and I'll be there again next Thursday morning.