I am not a person who does yoga. But I firmly believe in the saying, “When in Rome…” and since I live in Boulder, Colorado, I find myself going to yoga now and again. Given my workaholic, overly pragmatic, and strictly rational personality, a little mindful relaxation is probably good for me. So I tag along with my girlfriends from time to time. Besides, doesn’t every yoga class need that one awkward person in the back of the room who can’t come within six inches of touching her toes?
There are other reasons to go to yoga as well, like getting my butt away from the computer and out of the office midday. Last Wednesday, for example, I went to lunchtime yoga hosted by a local beer garden and run by a delightfully upbeat instructor who provides much needed reminders throughout her sessions to “Relax your face.” Each time she says that, she is most certainly looking at the unattractive grimace and wrinkles of frustration that cloud my face each time I attempt garudasana or gomukhasana or some other pose that is as equally unpronounceable as undoable.
On my way back to work, I was stuck behind someone who, for some inconceivable reason, was driving ten miles per hour under the speed limit. This is not unusual in Boulder, especially since the legalization of marijuana. But for people like me who actually drive solely in order to get somewhere, it is incredibly frustrating. And on this occasion, my fellow driver’s lack of urgency caused me to get stuck at a train crossing a mere quarter mile from my office. The little that remained of my yoga-induced shanti vanished as I realized that the final 30 seconds of my trip would now be stretched out further than my hamstrings can ever hope to be no matter how many yoga sessions I attend.
Determined as always to be efficient and utilitarian, I decided to use some of this otherwise wasted time to change back into my work clothes. I positioned my car so that my front bumper was aligned with the space between the two passenger doors of the car in the other lane. That way, no one would be looking directly into my vehicle. If the pothead in front of me wanted a glimpse of my solid black bra through his rearview mirror, so be it. Once he came out of his THC haze, he wouldn’t remember anyway. I changed my shirt and put my earrings and necklace back on. Next, I put the car into park, pushed my seat back and bent down to remove my shoes and then my yoga pants. Then, to grab my jeans from the bag on the seat next to me, I looked up. Much to my surprise, the crossing gate was up and the car in front of me was moving.
I have been stopped at that crossing a half dozen times since I began this job four months ago. Each time, the train has had no fewer than 100 cars and has been moving more slowly than a yogi coming out of child’s pose. But this time the conductor seemed to have left all his cargo behind. Much like the driver in front of me, he had probably made the pot shop the first stop on his itinerary that day.
Have you ever had a dream in which you show up to work with no pants on? Well, that is exactly what happened to me next. What could I do? I had to drive forward and my office park was just on the other side of the tracks. I pulled into a spot and tried to get my pants on as quickly as possible, but it seemed I had decided to wear my tightest skinny jeans that day. After much awkward wriggling and squirming beneath my steering wheel, actions that were undoubtedly featured on some closed circuit television somewhere, frustration got the better the of me. I opened the door and stood there in the middle of the parking lot yanking the pencil-thin legs of my jeans over my thighs and showing everyone the black polyester that covered my rear end that day. Not my best moment at work, but if I get a promotion in the next week or two, I might consider it embarrassment well suffered.