Frustrated with the superficiality of contemporary yoga, three
yoga students join their ?half-enlightened? teacher on a two week,
magical-mystical tour through India's spiritual capitals and
end-up with a lot more than they bargained for
That Wednesday, I stood in front of a
yoga studio with a name so strange, my tongue contracted in
fright. When I finally got up enough courage to enter, I walked
over to the reception desk just opposite the door. A guy in yellow
harem pants and an orange t-shirt stood behind the desk. He asked
if I wanted a ten-class card, a five-class card, or if this was
going to be a trial class. I was so transfixed by the bushel of
hair growing out of his nose, I missed the question, which he
repeated with a look of impatience in his eyes. I glanced through
the open door of the waiting room: two older women, three skinny
men and an overweight teenager stood by the changing room.
I opted for the trial class.
Another group of people, all wearing jogging pants and t-shirts,
sat around a small table sipping tea. The sweet fragrance of
incense wafted through the air from a makeshift altar on the wall:
a shrine decked with Christmas-tree lights, plastic flowers and a
small, reclining, brass man with the head of an elephant. Six
other people lounged on the reception area couch, chatting merrily
about an upcoming yoga event in India. I changed into my sweat
pants and returned to the lounge area.
The tea was free. I filled a paper cup to the brim and sat down
to wait until class started. The tepid brew tasted like boiled
shoe soles and lemons. Not my taste. Finally, the doors leading
into the practice room were pushed opened.
I looked around in panic. Where was the gorgeous girl from the
gym? Damn her! I was on my own. I considered an escape, but before
I could turn and head for the door, I was trapped between twenty,
blissed-out airheads exiting the practice room and twenty
aggressive freaks pushing to get in. Once inside, everyone charged
to find a place close to the small stage, where the instructor was
seated with his eyes closed.
I found an empty space at the back of the class and rolled out
my mat next to an elderly women clad in a bulky t-shirt and, what
appeared to be, her husband's long johns.