Yesterday I went on blind-friend-date. It was just as nerve racking as a regular blind date, expect I was pretty sure this girl wasn’t going to try to dry hump me at the end. But I could always hope. My other friend thought we should meet because we are both writers and into the same things. Like our computers.
I texted Om Gal in the morning so we could make a plan of where to meet, and of course I waited by my phone until she got back to me, and then waited 20 minutes before texting back so she would know I was really busy and in high-demand. We decided we would have tea, and I would join her for an afternoon Sunday yoga class. Om Gal warned me that it was “hot yoga,” but I figured I have done yoga, and been hot, so being hot during yoga should be no big deal. She texted back that we could meet at “Sbux” and I then spent a good twenty minutes thinking that was a really strange name for a café before realizing she meant Starbucks. I need to get out more.
Our friend-date was going great. We drank delicious tea, got a long, and then headed over to “hot-yoga.” Upon entry, the first thing I noticed was the distinct smell of stale sweat. Much like I was sitting inside a tent made of jock straps. I then overheard the teacher saying the room would be heated to 100 degrees, and just the thought of that made sweat drip down my butt-crack.
Om Gal and I found our place in the back of the room because the entire space was packed like we were spiritual seeking sardines. Luckily Om Gal was right next to me, but then I remembered that she is not only a yoga teacher, but also a graceful sprite from another dimension of yogic wisdom. It was kind of like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich next to Julia Child. All I could think about was “holy crap, she can totally tell I am not breathing into my hamstrings right now. Shit… are my shoulders down? Do I have a Zen look on my face? Is my spine extended? I am totally judging that guy next to me right now. He is panting like a maniac. I bet she can feel it. Does she think I am being present right now? Fuck, she knows I am not in the moment. I think she is reading my mind.”
Because we were confined in this dungeon of heat everyone was perspiring like mad. Moisture was dripping off of my fellow yogis and creating massive pools on the floor. I felt like I was in a whale’s womb as I was watching sweat fly through the air as people moved their arms and heads. Now the one thing I don’t always mention to friends I am trying to impress is that I have developed an insane fear of germs, and humans in general since living such an isolated life. Philosophically I am all about community and togetherness, but practically people really gross me out.
I started to think about all the sweat comingling on the floor creating this slip-and-slide effect, all the air I was sharing as everyone exhaled deeply, all the skin cells that were floating towards me… and pretty much almost farted in my own mouth I was so horrified. Not to mention, every time I looked up I was staring into the inner thigh area of the man in front of me. Not that I saw any sack or anything – but looking into the open legs of man is its own journey.
So even though I was struggling intensely with all these challenges, the energy that filled the room was palpable. It had been years since I had practiced yoga with that many people and I forgot how much we feed off each other’s vitality. I was so inspired to be part of this interconnected web of quantum force. Everyone working together towards a common goal made my experience profound and held such great emotional resonance – even though I still think people are yucky.