A few weeks ago, I raced down to my favorite yoga studio. I was running late but expected to breeze right in, unfurl my mat and de-stress the down-dog way. After all, our Friday vinyasa class is usually filled with just a dozen regulars who’ve been coming for years.
Imagine my shock when I opened the curtain and eek!—cue horror movie soundtrack—saw bodies sprawled across the studio. The place was packed. There wasn’t a speck of space to be found on the eco-friendly bamboo floor.
What was going on? Who were these people swarming my little namaste space?
Then I remembered: The studio owner had listed a deal on Groupon.com in hopes of bringing in new business. Sure enough, the hordes had arrived to cash in on their 30 days of unlimited classes for 30 bucks.
Thanks to the invasion of the Groupons, there was only one spot left in the entire studio—if it could be considered a spot. I sulked into the corner and wedged myself between the gong and a wicker laundry hamper where everyone tosses their sweaty towels after class.
After warming up, we jumped back into a chaturanga push-up. “Inhale,” murmured our teacher, “and focus on your dristi point, any spot in front of you that isn’t a moving person.” Ha! I was so close to my neighbor, her feet were practically in my face. Wait, were her feet peeling? That’s when my mind started to wander, the No. 1 no-no in yoga. Yes, they were peeling all right, because that lady was really tan. Obviously she missed my melanoma column. I had a good mind to take her over to post-yoga sesh and dump a bottle of Banana Boat sunscreen SPF 100 in her wheat grass shot.
OK, I told myself, focus. I raised my hands overhead to enter a sun salutation. Suddenly my neighbor sprung up from the child’s pose she’d been hunkered into for half the class. She channeled an eagle, opening her arms into full wingspan and inadvertently whapped me in the face.
Just when I recovered, I heard a strange moan coming from some guy across the studio. “Ooooooooh, uuuuuuuh, ahhhhhhh.” I tried to block out the noise by focusing on the reggae rhythms of the Bob Marley CD, but the dude was bellowing so loudly he was completely drowning out “Exodus.”
By the end of class when we entered shavasana, our final relaxation pose, I felt downright annoyed.
What was with these Groupons? They were totally throwing off my chi.
Then I realized just how selfish and territorial I sounded. Wasn’t my mantra at the end of every class “kind thoughts, kind words, kind actions”? Yes, I was being very un-yogic.
So, laying on my mat, breathing in the scent of my lavender eye mask, I sent my fellow yoginis positive vibrations and gave them namaste.
The following Friday I arrived early. No way was I gonna get stuck by the hamper again. Imagine my surprise to find the studio once again sprinkled with just us regulars. The Groupons were gone. It seemed they’d heard Bob Marley over the moaner after all, and made an “Exodus” of their own—onto the next great deal.