Today I decided to squeeze in a yoga class after having lunch with a friend across town. I’d only been to this particular place once before, so I wasn’t really familiar with the facilities, the sign-in process, where you put your shoes ’n shit. I was a little disoriented to find all the rooms empty, but I was still a little early, so decided to get changed and await further instruction. While I was changing, I heard someone else come in who seemed to be greeted by a voice with a hint of authority. I felt reassured, but when I came out, there was no responsible party to be found. The woman who had just arrived, also there for her second class, kindly showed me the ropes as she had just learned them, and I continued to wait around awkwardly reading the bulletins on the walls. Five minutes after the class was supposed to start, there was still only one other woman there, which made three of us. By ten after, I went and knocked on the door at the very end of the hall. Apparently there was some sort of teacher training going on. My knock was received with an abrupt, “WHAT!” Then a laughter-infused, “Come in.” They glare-smiled at me as I opened the door, jokingly upset about the interruption. I’m never quite sure how to take gestures like this because it feels more like a weak attempt to cover up real pissed off-edness with lame sarcasm than any sort of actual joke, but—I digress. A woman came out to help, but only succeeded in confirming the uncertainty of the situation by checking the website (why didn't we think of that? oh wait, we did. thanks) and calling the owner (who had no knowledge of a cancellation).
Fifteen minutes after the class was supposed to start, one woman decided to call it a Sunday, but the other lady and I looked down at our bare feet and figured, when in tights, stretch! So we plopped down our mats and proceeded to breathe deeply and crack our bones. I told her about this cool yoga website I’d been using to practice at home. Quicker than I could say downward facing dog, she had pulled up a video and placed her iPhone between us saying, “Do you mind?” By this point, there was really no decision to be made. I had untied the ropes, placed my foot firmly on the dock and set the boat in motion. Besides, the experience was worth far more than any story of somewhere more productive I could be. Not to mention the pattern completion of actually squeezing in some yoga.
So that’s what we did. In a big empty room with shiny hardwood floors, Indian fabrics lining the walls and statues of goddesses as our audience, we did our yoga practice bowing to a leopard print iPhone (we kicked it over for the standing poses). We also got to know each other a bit and even came up with the genius premise for a comedy where two women get locked in a yoga studio overnight with nothing but yoga props and an iPhone to pass the time. Actually, now that I say that out loud, it sounds a bit different, but I’ll leave that to your own conscience.
I wanted to share because I love little experiences like this. Ones that can so easily be overlooked or passed by, like throwing out an important letter in a pile of bills. I could have decided to go home when the teacher didn’t show without hesitation, but when I came to that fork in the road, for some reason I chose the uncertain path over the familiar one. You never know what’s going to happen, but that’s the beauty of it. You might solve a problem, you may even create a new one; you might make a new friend, or quite possibly an enemy; but in the very least, you will likely end up with a funny story to tell. And that's always worth it.