I was looking forward to yoga when I woke up this morning. I got back from traveling last night and am leaving for another trip tomorrow, so today was the golden day of asana opportunity.
Knowing I’d be practicing after work, I dressed conveniently and came to the office prepared, toting my mat, water bottle, extra hair ties, etc. However, as the day dragged on my energy flagged, and the idea of taking yoga was less appealing. Which, I knew, meant it was all the more important that I go.
And so even though it was raining hard when I exited my office building, I pushed into the throng of wet tourists and commuters and headed toward the subway. I reminded myself to be patient as I bristled at oversize umbrellas and hasty passersby, reassured myself that I’d be grateful later, even if right now I was glaring at a town car driver who’d wedged his vehicle in the middle of a Times Square intersection, thus forcing pedestrians to stream single-file across the street, squeezing between bumpers and unavoidably splashing into me.
On the subway I visualized sinking into child’s pose, then holding plank and stretching into upward dog. These thoughts distracted me from noticing that my boots had failed to keep my feet dry.
I ascended the subway stairs to discover that the rain in the East Village was more torrential than it had been in midtown. My socks were soaked, and I knew they wouldn’t dry out by the time class ended, and I cringed at the thought of peeling wet socks onto dry feet for the trip home. But I’d figure something out, I told myself. Just another block, and I’d get what I needed next, and everything after would follow.
Preparation and perseverance and self-soothing are all well and good, but I still wasn’t ready for what awaited me when I approached the studio.
Class was canceled.
It hadn’t occurred to me that a holiday schedule would be in place, but it was, and thus I found myself drenched in a chilly rain with no yoga to validate my efforts.
There was a woman in my same predicament who pointed me toward the revised schedule. If I hung around for an hour, there’d be a class I could take. She was planning to wait; she told me she really needed to practice. “I can’t afford not to,” she said.
And with relief, I realized that I COULD afford not to. As much as I had wanted to give my body physical release, I need emotional care as well. Forcing myself to stick around for something I’d just barely managed to drag myself to in the first place did not seem like the caring thing to do. So I smiled, wished her a good practice, and retraced my soggy steps to the subway.
And now that I’m home, warm and dry, I’m not feeling guilty for giving up. Today, my yoga is no yoga. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. And everything is still okay.