February 28, 2011
I’m thinking I need to start thinking so I can write a piece called, “What I Think About When I Should be Thinking About Nothing While I’m Doing Yoga.” I’m thinking I need to write this because while I should be thinking about nothing during yoga, while I should be focusing on the present, focusing on my breathing, I inevitably start thinking. I think writing about it will help me stop. Thinking that is.
Thinking thinking thinking.
I’m thinking I’m very sweaty from my cardio workout.
I’m thinking, Oh, I’m smack in the front in the middle, right near the teacher. I’m thinking before that would have bothered me but now it doesn’t.
I’m thinking thinking so much during yoga probably has the opposite effect that yoga is supposed to have.
I’m thinking repeating “I’m thinking” over and over again in an essay might be annoying.
I’m thinking don’t make eye contact with the teacher although she’s right in front of me because that would be weird, although she is perfectly nice with pretty red hair and a low soothing voice that immediately reverts to California girl portamento when the class ends.
I’m thinking that old guy is in good shape but he’s having trouble with downward dog. He should take off his socks and not put his hands that way.
I’m thinking oh good he took off his socks, but he’s still having trouble. I’m thinking he’s thinking yoga is harder than he anticipated, although, like I thought before, he is very fit.
I’m thinking okay you can feel superior for ten seconds. There, are you happy now? You feel superior to an 80-year old guy who probably runs marathons and is trying yoga for the very first time while you are way younger and have been doing yoga for a year.
I’m thinking why is that guy wearing socks too? Take off your socks, people! That should be the first thing the yoga teacher says. That, and turn off your cell phones. I’m thinking turning off your cell phone during yoga should be frigging obvious. But it is not.
I’m thinking that guy’s mat is very squeaky. It wouldn’t be so squeaky if he’d stop adjusting it. But when he stops squeakily adjusting his mat, he’s breathing VERY LOUDLY. He and the two guys on either side of him are having a loud breathing contest. They are the loud breathing triplets.
I’m thinking has anyone ever told anyone else to shut the fuck up during yoga.
I’m thinking this is probably also the opposite of what yoga is supposed to do.
I’m thinking that woman’s pink yoga mat smells like strawberries. Or I’m just hungry. Or I’m having a stroke.
I’m thinking my arms are already tired. I’m thinking how long have we been doing this? I bet only 15 minutes. Only 15 minutes and my arms and upper back are already tired, and we still have 45 minutes go.
Yes, the clock upside down: 15 minutes.
. . .
Whoa, I stopped thinking there for a while. Cool.
I’m thinking I hope I remember everything I’m thinking about.
I’m thinking supposedly people think up to 50,000 thoughts a day, or 2,083 thoughts an hour. What counts as a thought? This? Or this? Or this?
Thought number 694.
I’m thinking that old guy hurt his back. He’s just doing child poses now too. I’m thinking I wonder if he can do anymore.
I’m thinking I wonder how my dad would like this class. He does yoga by himself but still this might be too hard. Too hard for my dad, too easy for my brother, who can put his six foot three body in any position. Meanwhile I struggle. Other younger people struggle. Other people who look like they do yoga a lot struggle. They breathe hard. My dad’s not as old as that old guy but he’s getting old.
I’m thinking will the teacher go check on the old guy and see if he’s okay. Or will she adjust me as she passes. I’m thinking in the beginning I dreaded being readjusted because being readjusted meant being corrected, being wrong.
Now I don’t care. There is no right or wrong. There is only trying.
Ohhhhhmmmm and all that. Yada yada yada. Blah blah blah.
I’m thinking oh that old guy is leaving. Will he try this again.
Oy, my sides.
Ack my hamstrings.
I’m thinking this is really hard. Why is this so hard? Pretend you’re really good at it. Pretend you’re like that woman over there (not the one with the strawberry mat) who’s really good. I’m pretending I’m good. I’m pretending I’m good.
As I right myself again, I think, I don’t get people who get upset at themselves after yoga, who kick themselves for not being able to pose A, B, or C. It’s not a contest, you’re not getting graded on it.
I’m thinking, But remember you kick yourself about other things. You kick yourself for not behaving the right way when no one really cares. You kick yourself for being wrong so you hate being wrong, you hate admitting it. You hate apologizing for the big things. You hate apologizing because when you were younger (and still now) if you did something your mother thought was wrong and you tried to apologize, she just got madder, she just pushed you away.
There was no way to win.
So all you could do was wait, be quiet, be small, and wait for the storm to pass.
You have to remind yourself that your boyfriend is not your mother, that he will not reject you for apologizing, for owning up to your mistakes. That he suffers waiting for you to apologize, and you suffer thinking you hate being wrong.
Then you apologize, and he forgives you immediately. He hugs you and doesn’t hold a grudge, which, to you, is a very strange thing, and you realize forgiving is sometimes as hard as apologizing.
No corrections, only adjustments.
. . .
I’m thinking, I’m surprisingly good at this pose. I have a low center of gravity so balancing on one foot isn’t too hard. Unlike that woman there, the good one, who is long and lean.
Suck it, skinny!
I’m thinking, I hate this pose. I can’t bend back that far, I can’t grab my ankles. My neck doesn’t go that way.
But my butt feels toned. Nice.
I’m thinking oh dolphin pose, I like the dolphin pose. I like the dolphin pose for the first five seconds, and then I hate it. I hate it and I want to kill it and spread it on a sandwich.
(Mmm, dolphin sandwich.)
Child’s pose – ahhhhh.
I’m thinking I can hold this hamstring pose forever. (Hm, hamstring pose? Is that the official name?)
I’m thinking I love the plow pose now when before I hated it. I’m thinking that guy back there doesn’t love it, he is breathing too hard. Deep, slow breaths, dude. Don’t hyperventilate. Don’t pass out with your legs hanging over your head.
I’m thinking ah at last, corpse pose. I’m thinking it’s so nice not to have vertigo currently. I’m thinking I wonder if someone will snore or fart. Once someone farted and I spent all of savasana trying not to laugh.
I’m thinking snoring is only moderately funny but farting is hilarious.
I’m thinking I’m really hungry now.
I’m thinking I’ll stop at that little market on Polk Street and buy some tofu, yogurt, and juice. I’m thinking there’s leftover crab fried rice in the fridge.
I’m thinking I have to pee.
I’m thinking I’m glad I didn’t snore. Or fart.
I’m thinking you can stop thinking now.
But can I?