Tuesday, December 2, 2014

yogi friends

I'm not exactly the friendliest looking girl you've ever run into. My friends (I swear some people have managed to get over the first impression) lovingly tell me I have "resting bitch face." I see people come in and out of the yoga studio and everyone seems to know each other, they're all buds. No one talks to me.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is popping into little yoga studios along the way, seeing what different city's yoga are like: what kind of music do they listen to, what cool moves are they doing that I don't know yet. When I'm in one of these out of towner studios I can always manage to strike up a convo with the people at the front desk or with the instructor after class. I don't as easily make conversation with the other people practicing; I'm trying to get a feel for what the studio is like. Does everyone come in quietly and lay on their mats? Is music playing and are people chatting? By the time I've figured all this out people seem to be into their routines and I have a hard time breaking in.

At my own home studio I have my buds that I come to class with and I get pretty absorbed talking to them. Or if I come alone I don't strike up conversations with people. I see it happening around me so I've started to think about why that is. I've always told myself that practicing in the studio I teach in is a little weird. People look at me, a teacher, and expect things from me. They expect me to do advanced asana, not take child's pose, not drink water, not get tired. It makes me all strange and uncomfortable. Now, I have no idea if any of this is true, but that's my inner monologue.

I think the fact of the matter is I'm a little shy. Striking up a conversation with random people isn't easy for me. I'm the kind of girl who works with my office door closed. I prefer a dinner party to going to a club. I like tight intimate relationships.

As I've watched all these people around me chatting and laying out their yoga accouterments, I started to think about whether yoga is the place that I want to be making friends. The answer was a quick and obvious yes. These yogis are totally my kind of people, after work they want to sweat, on the weekends they schedule going out around class, they spend their money on weekend retreats and juice cleanses.

So I did something uncomfortable. I sat down in class a few weeks ago and asked the girl next to me about the shirt she was wearing. We talked for 10 minutes before class started and after class exchanged a hug and numbers with a promise to grab coffee soon. Painless. I've been having those experiences almost every class now for weeks. And you know what? I'm having more fun at yoga (as if I even believed that was possible), feeling less like I have a role to fulfill as a teacher, and growing my circle of yogi friends. Pretty dope.


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