The warm yoga class is as cool as it is going to get on this 90-degree day. I wriggle through a still and unusually disorganized class. On any given day mats are aligned in straight rows and columns; for some reason this afternoon a scatter plot has displaced the normal grid. I find myself tucked into the front in one of two horizontal spaces beside the small staged area.
I swallow my uncertainty at this new location and breathe myself into child’s pose, dismissing my dismay at separation from my friend and post-meditative-exercise to-do list. As the collective inhales into mountain pose I find myself in direct eye lock with another displaced yogi. He seems comfortable in this position. His cool blue eyes calm my doubt but raise other distractive concerns.
I shut my windows to the world and submit to a dark and solitary practice, fluttering my eyelashes open every now and again to ensure balance. Each peek at the world embarrassingly plugs into the ocular sea before me. Our instructor mutters words, guiding us pose by pose, but my real teacher stands before me silent, shirt off, tanned and rippled with tone. His actions mirror mine, save for its absolute perfection. I cannot help but watch as he bends deeper, rolls more smoothly, and poses with precise poise before those blue beacons beam at me again.
The heat is palpable and with four feet between us I can feel his breath steaming. Our limbs don’t touch but bend and curl and wrap around each other. Space is just a limitation in our minds. My fingers explore the forest of his hair, the stubble mossing his face, the waterfall of sweat trickling down over his pectoral boulders in the unrelenting heat of this urban jungle. I close my eyes again and feel the tips of my fingers buzzing with the memory of their explorations. We twist away and come back to each other. He smiles and I blush. I am grateful for already being red with heat and exertion; my embarassment might not be detectible. We twist away once more and I feel guilty for not having returned the smile.
Spent, separate, and supine on the floor, I send him white light from my heart and thanks for his tutelage. The singing bowl rings and all thoughts drift away. The ache in my hips releases, the heat dissipates, wetness drifts and cools in the dim studio. The geometry of the space continues to change as pupils rise and abandon their positions. A few moments pass before I am up bowing with gratitude and retreating towards the light in the hall. I look back at the emptied studio now alive with peaceful energy and devoid of any physical shapes at all.
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