Yoga babies. No, it's not an attempt to rip off the ever-growing yoga clothing industry, nor did I witness some strange new Mommy-and-Me mutation. It's the perfect description for the class I had today.
Now, babies have been on my brain lately. Not in the way you might think--I'm not gettin' knocked up anytime soon--but I have been thinking about 'em. A dear friend welcomed her first child into the world recently, and following her experiences with that has been fun. I'm also in the mid-semester grading slump that hits all of us teacher types. (Non-teachers: please forgive your teacher friends for their inexplicable yet cyclical October/April madness.) To prevent myself from falling into a pit of grading despair, I take a few moments here and there to let my thoughts get all innocent and childlike. There's a big difference between this internal monologue: "Goddammit. How did you make it to this level of college without learning to use a fucking apostrophe?" and this one: "I notice that this student takes a creative approach to the conventions of English!"Ahh, a beginner's mind can be a welcome relief to the drudgery of the day.
Back to yoga. Today's class was a steamer. To boot, there were quite a few first-timers, which meant the instructor had to spend a bit of time here and there attending to Fixed Firm poses and ankle-holding issues :-) And there was just... something in the air. You know those classes that seem to have bad energy? Those ones in which us students remain obstinate and listless, wrung out like an old rag, despite the best efforts of a wonderful instructor to keep us going? It was one of those.
As the normal hour for class to be over approached, we were still postures away from being done. As I lay on my back between postures, I noticed bizarre things--people walking back and forth (to get what, I don't know), the wheeze and moan of a newcomer. At one point, I turned my head to see the instructor walking the rows during mid-posture savasana. She knelt down between two new students, whispering some sweet reassurance to them. Enviously, I wanted to know what she was saying. Couldn't she see we were all suffering, too?
That was when it hit me: our class was a bunch of yoga babies. There we lay, little infants, exhausted, begging for relief and attention. The teacher was ultimately of no use in this matter. And I think that the best of teachers, mothers, husbands, lovers, friends--none of them can do anything but remind us of the fact that we are already worthy of our own love. Isn't yoga all about self-care? Ain't it a tool for us to tend to our weary, irritated, and ambivalent souls?
So, it's OK, little yoga babies. We can throw our little tantrums and wish our teachers would tell us "take it easy, honey." But even sweeter is the realization that we already have the ability to soothe ourselves.