She called me “sweetie” when I walked in and naturally I pondered whether that was a sweet thing or condescending like lost puppy talk.
It was a kind welcome, “sweetie” must be her word, I decided, it seemed so natural.
Earlier that morning, someone else called me “Honey”. Same thing, just a thing she called people, I supposed.
The usual instructor not there and the only spot available between two men, one my friend’s husband, uninterested in small talk and the other, in his 70’s and really focused on his balance.
He practiced a while, one knee bent, and the opposite leg teetering, like a limb bent by heavy fruit, I feared it might snap.
I thought he might tumble and I knew the reaction would be kind, still, I hoped he didn’t for his sake.
I considered leaving; but, the music was so good, acoustic mellowed out guitar versions of ” Let it Be”, “Imagine” and some softened up Tom Petty “Mary Jane”.
I decided instead to relax and breathe in my little strip of space, a little closet-like cocoon.
The poses drew the tensions up and away from my shoulders. I accomplished for the first time, “tree poses” with my eyes set firm and my arms up high above my shoulders.
“Child’s pose”, I realized is the same as falling on my face in prayer. The instructor told us, “The forehead on the ground is the place where letting go takes place.”
“Oh”…I thought…I know this already.
Ending with “Shavasana”, flat on thin mat, I feel thinner now.
The hard floor underneath me and a weighted bag on my belly, I close my eyes and breathe.
Then, interrupted by the most gentle touch, like a silver spoon dropping a dollop of heavy cream into a warm cup, the instructor gently massages essential oil into the spot above my nose and on my temples.
I notice the scent, contemplate it and decide if it were a color it would be the tint of pale blue sky and I pray,
speaking in a way a bit blunt.
Words spill from my mind like the rat a tat of ammunition and then
they slow with a quiet confirmation.
Gratitude finds its way into my thoughts as warm tears make little puddles around my eyes.
I rise slowly, open my eyes and let the tears evaporate.
Then, listen in farewell “mountain pose” upwards stretching high and then hands at my heart, as the instructor wishes us peace before adding “Namaste”.
I reply “Namaste” and my heart opened, whisper a silent