I’d rushed like crazy and was a bit pissed that the yoga instructor was late. She breezed in, all beautiful in Lululemon white, no apologies.
This is a sacred space, she said, looking directly at me. Please keep your phone out of sight. Lay down, close your eyes, breathe.
I yawned into the sacred space. An hour and a half without my phone is a long time. But hey – yoga, inner peace, mindfulness – I tucked it under my towel, lay down on my mat and assumed the corpse pose.
Another yogi came in. I would’ve smiled at her but actually, she slammed her mat down on top of mine, crowding me out of my own sacred yogic space.
Christ, I thought.
But I never said that because yoga is just so quiet and peaceful.
Instead I shifted up a little and reassumed the death pose.
I focused on my breathing.
The room had that heady smell – incense, perfume, deodorant, feet.
The guy with the feet was on my left. Also a bit too close. Would it be terribly unyogic of me to move across the room?
Without my towel. Or my phone.
The class began. Tree pose, sun salutations, downward dog.
Five minutes in downward dog is a very long time. Especially when through my legs I could see the guy with the smelly feet’s penis. He wasn’t wearing Lululemon. Or underwear.
I groaned. Everyone looked at me. You’re not meant to groan during yoga. That quiet sacred space, remember.
This was not turning into a mindful experience. Especially as across the room I could see the flickering light of my phone under the towel.
It took all my power not to leap up, grab my phone and run out of the class.
I started berating myself.
Focus, Violet. Breathe through your fucking nose, Violet. Concentrate on that third eye, Violet. Stop giving the man the death stare, Violet.
The torture ended. The all-in-white super calm teacher dimmed the lights.
And chanted, in her sing song voice.
Feel the nothingness. Get into the nothingness. Find yourself a mantra.
I found myself a mantra.
Don’t think about killing her, I chanted. Don’t think about killing her, don’t think about killing her, don’t…
She droned on and on.
And somehow I fell asleep.
When I woke, it was really quiet. No-one on top of me. No smells. No penises. No-one in my sacred space.
I felt fantastic.
I got up slowly, stretched, gathered my thoughts and walked home.
So calm, I thought. So calm. I loved that class.
Except my phone battery was dead.
And there’s no way in hell I’m ever going back.