Tonight, I was reminded yet again how our multitude of neuroses can be reflected right back at us in the hot room. I must warn you: even as I blog in the cool evening from the comfort of my captain's chair and sip from a cold glass of water, the neuroses are flying off the shelves. I think they're forming a tornado in the middle of the room.
I slunk into my Monday evening yoga class, dreading the experience. It's pretty warm in San Diego this week, and the studio seems to absorb that extra heat. Plus, it's Monday, y'know? Blergh.
The hardest part of tonight's class, though, was not the heat. It was the bitchy comment this fellow practitioner made to me in the changing room before class. OK, OK, it was probably my reaction to the comment that got me all worked up. Damn, though, did I get worked up.
I've talked to this yogi before. She's a teacher, and she knew I was a teacher, too. When she learned I taught at the college level, she raised her eyebrow and said, "Really?"
Tonight was more of the same. She walked into the dressing room, took one look at me as I was changing, and said, "College, huh?" Uhh. I look young. I know I do. Fine, OK, I am young. And I probably don't deserve my job. And I'm probably just scarring the 120 students that come into my class each semester. I'm a giant waste of time and money. I'm such a loser. I should be kissing this teacher's feet. She has every right to question my existence on this planet.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who knows this downward spiral.
Class started up right away, and I didn't have time to ask her what she meant by her question. I spent the class in a mental tug-of-war: "What was her problem? She doesn't know me. I'm a good teacher. No, I suck, I don't deserve this job, I want to be eating salad. Blah!"
The balancing series reeeally sucked today.
Then, right between the first and second set of Triangle, I got it. What a perfect mirror this yoga is. Yeah, I guess there's a possibility you could question the motive behind her comments. But I torture myself with those negative thoughts about my work all the time. I don't need an actual human to get me going on 'em. Until I excavate through those thoughts that are already there, they'll come back, again and again.
After class, I dragged myself to the locker room and managed to gasp a request for explanation of her "College, huh?" comment. She didn't answer directly, but she did share that, like many teachers across the state and nation, she's been pink-slipped. If, by some miracle in the state budget, she does get to keep her job, her class size will increase, and funding for their materials and activities will drop. And even more than getting that "don't judge" reminder, I saw she was a really nice person. She was just fuckin' worried about her life.
The conversation was really humbling. Seems I got a double message: some people have a right to bitch. Also, I'm as quick to judge myself as I am others, and that's just never helpful.