Under false assumptions, I arrive 20 minutes early to my yoga class only to find the parking lot entirely full.
Now I’m left with finding some form of alternative parking that will not result in a ticket or tow.
Squeezing myself into a questionable spot and muttering under my breath about the time wasted, I walk quickly to the front door. A cue of spandex-clad 20-somethings line up at the water fountain. I spot a vacancy at a filtered water mechanism toting the sign “with lemon” and hastily fill up my bottle, wondering why everyone prefers to wait in line for lemon-free water.
Once again struggling, I frantically open and close locker doors searching for an empty one.
It is still more than ten minutes until the class will start, but judging from the herd of water grazers, I assume the room will be packed. Pulling open the thick wooden door, I am struck with a wave of heat at least 20 degrees higher than the lobby temperature.
Struggling to breathe normally and not break into a sweat before the class begins, I scan the room.
As I had feared, 20 minutes was nowhere near the time I needed for prime mat real estate. Already the room is filled with more than 30 women chatting enthusiastically, drunk off their tight and bright Lululemonade.
I find a small spot by the mirror, roll out my dull colored mat, and catch a glance at my reflection—black unfitted top and black leggings.
No tight and bright for me—guess I missed that memo.
There are three men in the room, one of them being the largest person in the room, and he happens to be sitting directly in front of me. He sticks out like a sore thumb with his bright blue baggy T-shirt, and he is already soaked through from the sweat he has built up by merely sitting in the yoga furnace.
In front of me, all I see are the tanned and toned.
Many have tattoos.
Most of them wear only sports bras.
The bigger women have the confidence that comes with being a Lululemonade master.
I don’t come here to socialize, or to show off my new overpriced spandex.
I don’t come here to hear odd stories and dreams from the teacher.
I come here to practice yoga, to improve my poses, and to spend an hour of me time.
I stretch my neck and shoulders as I scan the room around me. Shifting my gaze behind me, I notice a group of bigger woman in baggy dark T-shirts and one of them whispers, “I’m scared,” to her friend.
I never quite figure out what the woman’s fear was because she never seemed to struggle once during the class. Perhaps she feared that her lack of Lulu would affect her yoga performance.
Maybe she was afraid of not fitting in.
Maybe she was afraid she would do a pose wrong and lemons would be thrown at her.
The room is packed nearly mat to mat at this point and the class is ready for commencement. Seventy five minutes is supposed to be the duration of this class, but I have been to this class before and I know that the first ten or so minutes are allocated to the teacher hearing himself speak. This will be an hour session.
The music starts and we are asked to meet in tabletop.
Cat-cows begin our practice, and 75 minutes later I wipe off my drenched face and make my way out of the painful heat.
I leave before shavasana is even over because I fear the mad dash of the Lulus and the sweaty shower strip show that is soon to follow.
I grab my things quickly from my locker before anyone has emerged and gratefully take a swig of my fresh lemon water, smiling at the thought that the only lemon flavored liquid this yoga crew will drink is Lululemonade.
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Apprentice Editor: Brandy Mansfield/ Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons
Photo: Elephant Archives