Tonight was supposed to be yoga night, that special night where I find my weekly hour of peace amid a sea of unorthodox bodily contortions and overproduced, vaguely Easterny-sounding music. Not so this week, not last week, not even the week before.
In fact, I have only practiced yoga approximately five times in my life — but this is four more than what’s necessary to perceive the theoretical importance of establishing a yoga night, of trading in one’s clothes for ill-fitting sacks, of refusing all food except for rolled oats, of refusing all drink except for mushroom-based teas. So how could I miss out on yoga night yet again?
While driving to the radical bookstore where yoga is held, I remembered that I didn’t actually own a mat, the one material possession that is requisite for respectably practicing yoga. And so with fifteen minutes to spare, I stopped by every store that could be imagined to carry a sheet of plastic or foam or latex or some such material, regardless of whether it was intended to be used as a yoga mat.
I went to the drugstore — no mats. I went to the sporting goods store — no mats. I even went to the Whole Foods Market down the street. They sell Nag Champa incense, toothpaste made of kelp, and CDs of vaguely Easterny-sounding music. They do not sell yoga mats.[1. They had one model of yoga mat in stock which was priced at over $40. I suspect it is for ornamental use.]
After failing to find a suitable mat for nearly an hour, I decided to give up. On the way back to my apartment, I thought I would recalibrate my chakras by purchasing one thin-crusted pizza and as many Ferrero Rocher chocolates as I could find. After collecting my consolatory treats, I would come face to face with a reasonably priced yoga mat on an endcap that featured closeout football memorabilia and Mason jars.
Up one yoga mat, and dispelled of my yoga-related prejudices, I can only conclude that preparing for yoga has been as life-affirming as the practice of yoga itself, and I’m reconsidering whether all those bodily contortions are even necessary.