January 29, 2011

Two in the Bush

“Close your eyes,” I’d said.

I was just about to lead the advanced group through the centering portion of our practice when one of our favorite blondes erupted, “Wait–before we start, I have gossip!”

That’s sort of how the Friday Advanced Practice rolls.  It’s half coffee kloctch, and half banging it out hardcore style.  We stand on our heads while we chat about our week.

I won’t share the gossip–what happens in the Friday Advanced stays in the Friday Advanced–but let’s just say that it inspired a conversation about our most awkward yoga moments.

My own all time low occurred around seven years ago.  I had just moved to Connecticut.  I was settling in and was, of all things, teaching Anusara yoga at an Ashtanga studio.  (A lovely studio owned by a lovely woman who was very gracious to have me there.)

As the writer of a blog, it should come as no surprise when I tell you that I love words.  I’ve always loved words.  Sometimes I love words so much that my mind races ahead, gets really excited, and thinks of more than one word to convey what I mean.  My mouth can’t keep up and slurs the words together.

For example, if my mind wants a student to “widen her collarbones to experience more breadth across them,”  my mouth might accidentally combine widen and breadth into the nonexistent word, widthen.  I’ve had this little glitch in my system since I learned to speak, and usually coining a new word charms me.

So, there I was, in the Ashtanga studio teaching Utkatasana.  It was a 7:00pm class and I was tired.  I slur more when I’m tired.  Or drunk, but I try to keep the drunk teaching to a minimum.

I had a new student in class and she was rounding her lower back.  That collapses the natural curve which, while a common misalignment, isn’t a good idea.  To support the lumbar curve, I’ll sometimes cue the aligning action by saying, “take your butt back.”  Sometimes I cue it, “take your tush back.”

Do you see where this is headed? Are you already cringing?

“Take your bush back!” I urged the poor woman who was taking her very first yoga class ever.  “Take your bush back!”

Then I dropped dead of mortification.  I’m actually writing this post from beyond the grave.

The End.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you in yoga class?

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