1.1 Atha Yoga Anusasanam: Here, now is the teaching of yoga.
The sun barely crept in the window, like a stranger. Uninvited, yet still accepted.
Nadia had tossed and turned all night, despite her hour long practice and cup of hot water right before bed. Now, it was time to get up and face the day. The promise of a new day tickled her sharp jawbone and nudged her in the direction of the kitchen. Coffee.
Daughter of a yoga instructor and a professor, Nadia had grown up around both yoga and books. And she was good at both. She was smart, fit, friendly, and fun to be around. She could nail Bird of Paradise. She could stay in handstand for as long as she wanted. She was the gem of the yoga studio–the girl everyone hated to love. But they had to love her, because that is what yoga teaches. Right?
She woke up in a house alone every day. Her parents had perished in a hurricane on one of their yoga retreat trips. They left her the house, her sister the yoga studio.
Nadia gently lifted each long, naked leg out of bed. She combed her fingers through her blonde hair and stretched upward, as if to say hello to the sun. She lived a charmed life. She attended school as an Eastern Philosophy major and worked (rarely) at the family yoga studio.
She walked into the kitchen, flipped on her iPhone and clicked on her Rumi Quote of the Day app.
And then she clicked on the ever-famous green messages box. A text from Deva appeared. Deva was a man she had met last year at a kirtan gathering. The text:
“Will you be at 9:30 yoga? Would love to see your face. Love, D.”
A rainforest biologist, he traveled to strange and exotic places and rarely appeared in town. But when he did, Nadia’s heart throbbed–and so did her secret chakra. It was a throbbing that made her feel flushed…losing ground and control.
Devi usually came to his favorite flow yoga class every time he was in town, and Nadia, a devoted practitioner of several kinds of yoga, usually was there too. They had talked and exchanged numbers, but they had never done anything more.
Nadia responded to his text:
“I am definitely going! See you there! Love, N.”
Nadia put down her phone, sipped on her lemon-cayenne water, and packed her Lululemon leggings and bra into her yoga bag. She hurriedly brushed her teeth, making sure they looked as clean as a newly blossomed lotus. She took a deep breath, and set out to face the day and all the people she would see. She turned the key to her VW Jetta, and looked at her “OMGIRL” sticker in the rear window. She drove off toward the downtown yoga studio…the place of both renewed intention and renewed desire. Today Nadia would find love, lust, and renewed desire for a fellow yogi.
And now begins the practice of yoga.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives