May 21, 2012

The Hot Mess on the Mat Next-Door; Me. ~ Kate Citrin

Sometimes I appear to be an ass-hat.

Like most of my generation, my siblings, parents and grandparents have chosen their places of residence based on family. Specifically, how far away can I move to ensure they will not pop in for surprise visits?

While eliminating the tedium of family dinners, we have now ensured exotic vacations are a thing of the past too. Self-centered destination retreats have given way to visits to the family bases. My vacations have been replaced because I have been deemed the most mobile of my family.

My refusal to have children, freelance career and major airport-hub city have made me the prime candidate for a nomadic lifestyle. The rotation, kept as strict as tribes moving from planting ground to hunting ground, has me bouncing between Chicago, Washington D.C., Detroit, St. Louis and St. Petersburg.

I love my family, I really do, but most of them are far more sedentary than I am (heck, most gazelles are). By mid-day on day one, I begin a Mr. Bojangles routine that would make me a pretty penny on any street-corner in New York.

In each of my temporary residences I have a Bikram yoga (a form of hot yoga) studio to stop the tweaking (With the exception of St. Petersburg. For mercy’s sake, will someone please open a Bikram studio on the West side of Florida?).

In home base #3 (Detroit) I usually have a pretty rough class. I’m not sure why, but I always end up trying desperately not to lose control of my breath by the end. The places where my heart-rate are supposed to decrease come and go without respite. I stare intensely at the ceiling fan above my head, willing it to spin faster (our gazes transfer energy, right?).

Upon my most recent visit to this studio, the person next to me announced herself as a first-time practitioner. I felt a little bad that she would have to experience her first class with me trying to cling to sanity through the mental madness that is this particular studio for me. I did everything I could to be strong that class. Still, I found myself panting like a dog by the end, as usual.

At the final savasana (a resting pose) I was trying to get the gasping down to a minimum, counting my breaths: in… one… two… three… four… five… six… out… one… two…. when the persevering first-timer leaned over and whispered, “You’re perspiring.”

I thought this was a most lovely gesture. Here I was, about willing to die and the brave new yogi made a ‘captain obvious’ joke to ground me; reminding me that we are all just as comically sweaty and gross. I laughed and responded, “I know!” and laid back down, comforted by the laughter.

Two seconds later, I popped back up, my eyes widened in horror as I realized what was actually said.

Kate Citrin

Kate Citrin

Kate Citrin

The new girl did not say, “perspiring.” She had said, “inspiring.” As in, “You are inspiring,” and my response, with a cocky little giggle, had been, “I know.”

So, yeah, girl who took her first class at the Farmington Hills studio, I swear I misheard you through the blood pumping feverishly in my ears.

For every other yogi out there, if you ever hear a rumor that Bikram yogis are conceited, it’s my fault. I’m sorry.


Editor: Hayley Samuelson


Kate is a freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator (http://katecitrin.com) who practices Bikram yoga daily, recently completing 365 classes in 365 days. She has competed in the Illinois Asana Championships twice and writes a blog, http://yogabadassery.com. Kate no longer minds falling out of poses onto her face.

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