I applaud you.
I applaud your ability to strip down for the masses in a less-than-chiseled form, baring all to see without shame or defeat.
You move between poses with a sense of determination, blocking out any and all distractions in the room, the passing glances and shocked expressions of those unfamiliar with your presence.
I applaud your unwavering dedication to the practice.
You are not a quitter. You struggle each and every day, but you never retreat.
With the amount of sweat your left foot drips upon the front of my mat in half moon pose, I can only assume that you are working twice as hard as anyone here, including myself.
You are a constant reminder of where I am and where I should be.
And I applaud your intention.
At your age and stature, I can only once again assume that you are here for the purity of the practice, seeking the calm within the storm and the tranquility of connecting with your body and mind.
You are curious about yourself and about the changes that are taking place within you every time you step off the mat.
It’s safe to say you aren’t here because you want an a** built for yoga pants or because Gisele Bündchen claims it is the best way to start your day.
(But if so, no judgment here, who wouldn’t want to be like her…and have that a**?)
Needless to say, you are a distraction.
Your tiny speedo and bulging features make for an interesting point of reference in the mirror, shaking as you fall in and out of sequence.
Your soaked and sweaty figure crowded close to my face is unlike any of that in the near proximity.
But I am not embarrassed of you, ashamed of you.
I am inspired by you.
You stepped into class and stepped out of your comfort zone, something most of us never find the courage to do.
You remind me that in any situation I may feel like the wild card, the odd man out. That doesn’t mean I should shy away from it. I should embrace it.
Your role is powerful among the 20-something girls in midriff-baring tops and eight packs. (Literally, I’ve seen those…and all I can say is wow.)
You force us to evaluate our purpose in the practice. You force us to look in the mirror and judge our motivation, not our thighs.
We compare ourselves to your perseverance; realize our potential to do the same in any new pursuit of something more.
And so I thank you, nearly-naked and awkward middle-aged man in yoga class—for you may not be expected, but you are certainly appreciated.
An aspiring journalist, fashion enthusiast and lover of all things yoga, dance and green, Jamie packed up her life nine months ago and made the big move to Madrid, Spain from little old Ohio. Spending her days as an English teacher and soul-searcher, she is completely fascinated by international languages and cultures and won’t be satisfied until she’s seen it all. And so it begins.
Editor: Lynn Hasselberger
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