Not long ago, there was a photographer in my yoga class taking pictures of the instructor.
The instructor was the owner of the studio and an ambassador for lululemon. They needed a few shots of him to put in our local lululemon store.
Because I’ve been feeling good about my practice, I rolled out my mat in the front row.
In fact, I found that I wanted to be in the front row, center. And this is where my very short career as a yoga model begins.
The class started and I was feeling hyper-aware of the photographer even though we had been told that he would not be taking pictures of us, and we should simply ignore him. The pictures were of the instructor, and we were just the background.
In yoga, you focus on your breathing, clear your mind and let the movement become a meditation.
But this is what was going on in my head during class:
Here I am in downward facing dog and my shirt keeps riding up.
My middle is hanging out.
I wonder if my belly button looks all post-pregnancy puckery. I want to check, but I also want to be a good yoga model.
Good yoga models don’t fidget.
Maybe I need to go to lululemon and get one of those fancy yoga shirts that doesn’t ride up. I wonder if they are worth the money. I could ask for one for Christmas.
I wonder how many ambassadors lululemon has anyway? Maybe they want more. Maybe if I wrote about yoga more I could be an ambassador. Then I could get free yoga clothes. And then I’d have my picture in the store.
I wonder how many yoga shoots this photographer has done?
Is there a need for yoga models?
Does he think I’m a good yoga model?
Am I keeping my face neutral but serene?
Should I close my eyes or open them?
What about Athleta? Maybe they need yoga models.
Oh here comes the teacher, he’s coming over to assist me.
Now? You pick now? This is bow pose. No one looks good in bow pose. The veins must be popping out of my neck.
Okay, I’ve got this. Just breathe.
This is a horrible angle. How long is he going to stand here helping me? I heard the camera shutter at least 15 times.
I should have painted my toe nails.
I wish I would have worn a different headband.
Here he comes again. I must be a really good yoga model. I must be the best in the class.
But now I’m in camel pose?! Seriously? Can’t a yoga model catch a break? This is this most vulnerable pose ever. I’m basically hanging upside down and letting it all hang out. Only the best yoga models can tackle this pose.
I’ve got this. There’s the camera shutter. It must be almost over. So why is the teacher still posing? Please, please, make it stop.
Finally the class is over. I’ve done nothing but think about being a yoga model for the past hour and 15 minutes. I’m practically waiting for them to ask me to stay after class for extra shots. And the teacher asks us, “How was it practicing with a photographer in the room?”
And everyone was like, “Fine. No big deal. I didn’t even notice. I was so focused on my breathing.”
Huh. I guess I was the only one living out a yoga model fantasy session.
I wanted to be honest, but not too honest so I simply said, “I was definitely aware of the photographer when I was in bow and in camel. Those are pretty intense poses. And pictures were being taken of us….I mean you.”
Silence. I must have broken some unspoken yogi code. I think my yogi street cred dropped about 1,000 points. And I realized that I must be the worst yogi in the world, because I was more than aware. I was preening for the camera.
Yes, I’m horribly vain and easily distracted. But I was a really good yoga model.
Or at least I thought I was until I popped into our local lululemon store trying to casually catch a glimpse of the photo only to see that the one they used was completely student free—just the instructor in triangle.
He probably couldn’t pull off bow or camel.
Not everyone is cut out to be a yoga model.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Karissa Kneeland / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: The Yoga People/flickr