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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

burning the midnight om

please excuse me if i sound like i'm sleep-writing. given the late hour, i probably am.

i just got back home from a yoga class that literally spanned two days. jay co's class at power yoga west was scheduled to go from 10:45PM to 12:00AM (nope, that's not a typo), but for whatever reason, it started and ended late. around 15 minutes late. so by the time i pulled out of the parking lot, it was almost half past midnight. ah... the things i do for my yoga fix!

i should explain how i ended up taking that late-night yoga class. you see, KCRW is having its semi-annual pledge drive all this week, and as usual, i'd volunteered to put in my share of telephone-answering hours. long story short, between that commitment and all the other errands i had to do today, i couldn't fit in any of the classes during the "normal" yoga class hours. besides, as strange as it sounds, i actually looked forward to finding out what the night owl yoga crowd was like.

as it later turned out, i found myself practicing in a zombie-like state with the rest of the westside zombies.

after driving the short distance from KCRW to the third street promenade, i circled around briefly in search of free or cheap street parking. no such luck. not only did all the meters still have to be fed until 2am, but they only allow up to an hour's worth of parking. as for the public parking structure across the street, even if it offers two hours of free parking during the day, it's a flat $3 after 6pm. i considered the three hours of free parking at the mall two blocks away, but then again, was my personal safety worth the three bucks i'd be saving? i didn't think so. i headed to the structure by the studio and parked my car. at least i knew there was an attendant nearby.

i walked into the studio just as the teacher from the previous class was mopping the wooden floor dry. once he was done, i unrolled my mat and towel in my favorite spot, somewhere in the middle of the room, right along the wall. i sat down and waited to see who else would show up.

first came a pretty young blonde who placed her mat towards the center of the room, right in line with where i was.

then came two more young yoginis, who headed right for the front of room. i found it strange that one kept rolling back and forth between her mat and her friend's mat. i found it even stranger that they kept putting their heads together and giggling about things they were whispering to each other.

next to arrive was a tall tatooed guy who decided to place his mat right beside the pretty blonde's. considering that the large room was still empty, i could only assume that either he knew her or was hoping to eventually know her. but no, he totally ignored her and spent a good amount of time chatting with the instructor. more strangeness.

at that point, i closed my eyes and lay back on my mat while waiting for the class to start. once i heard the teacher address the class, i sat up at looked around. four more students had joined our group: a female in front of me, another one beside me, yet another behind me, and a muscular male off to the right behind me.

as instructed, i switched to child pose and once again closed my eyes. and as jay started droning on and on about god only knows what, i found myself fighting off sleep, partly because i was tired, and partly because i was trying so hard to block out whatever it was that he was saying. for some reason, he seemed to be chaneling bryan kest, but a southern version who was talking at quarter speed. the weirdness of it all was just too much for my exhausted brain to take!

and as the class progressed, things got even weirder.

taking the class was like following along with a yoga class podcast where someone had pressed the "slow" button. the unseen teacher was talking slowly, we were moving from pose to pose slowly, and we were holding each pose for a painfully long time. and while my muscles were screaming to be released, the teacher kept talking... and talking... with that slow southern drawl.

i start to notice strange sounds coming from the woman beside me. wait a minute... was she REALLY laughing at the little posture hints that the teacher was giving us? what's so damned funny? is she high? and why does she keep fidgeting? and flailing around? and making sudden jerky movements? doesn't she know how distracting she is?!?!?

trying to maintain my composure, i focus my attention instead on little miss rubbergirl in front of me. she's doing everything so perfectly. given my state of mind (and body) at that late hour, i was trying my darndest to look more like her than ms. spastic beside me. but as the midnight hour approached, it became more and more of a losing battle. holding in pigeon was a big pain in the butt. literally. trying to get my knees to fall around my ears after shoulderstand was an impossible dream. twisting to the right and left just caused my back muscles to tense up instead of relax.

and just when i started to wonder what else could go wrong, it was finally time for savasana. time for my much-needed rest. although i probably would have been better off had i been able to doze off in my own bed rather than rest momentarily on the hard floor of a yoga studio...

epilogue --

it turns out that i wasn't the only one who had a bad night.

after class, one of the students walked out to her car parked in front, just to find a parking ticket under her windshield. she probably assumed that parking was free after 6pm, just like it is at all the other parking meters around town. i bet she just loves the hefty parking fine she now owes the people's republic of santa monica.

as for another student whom i followed as we left the parking structure, after a brief conversation between her and the parking attendant, she put her car in reverse and re-parked her car. apparently she didn't have the $3 she needed to leave the lot; she had to walk to the nearest ATM to get the cash she needed. considering that the streets were dark and deserted, i can only imagine what she was muttering to herself. maybe that she'd never take a late night class again?

funny, that's just what i was thinking...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my! What a night - what an experience!! I think you've got a great passion going there, but i too would think twice about doing that class again! :)

still, makes for an entertaining read! x

5:10 PM  

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