My husband and I ushered in the month of October with a house-warming party. Since our previous abode had been a roomshare in a somewhat disreputable neighborhood, this marked the first time we had ever entertained on any scale beyond four people total. Aside from planning the guest lists, invitations, and the menu, we also had to get ourselves settled into our new apartment enough that it was presentable. Needless to say, I went from zen yogini to strung tight enough to snap at the slightest provocation housewife within the first week of planning. No matter how much I did, I never seemed to get enough done, and my husband, for all appearances, was hard at work doing as little as possible until the big day came. To make matters worse, as we closed in on the one-week countdown, I decided to not worry about fitting yoga classes into my schedule, since there was so much left to do, till after the party. Naturally, once I quit worrying about fitting them in, any time they would have fit into vanished completely. Even my teaching schedule began to feel like a horrifying imposition as I cleaned, organized, decorated, and made two pots of chicken stock and four pans of mac and cheese.
On Wednesday, no one came to my 2:00 class, and left with a couple hours to fill before my next class, I caught the L into Union Square to pick up some of what I needed for the party menu at the Farmer’s Market. The unstructured nature of the venture took me completely by surprise, and I found myself moseying, yes, moseying, down the rows of vendors, keeping an eye out for bargains on apples and winter squash. My mind didn’t wander, probably because it would have landed smack on the terrifying prospect of only three days left till the party; I just let my senses take in the sights, sounds and smells of all the hustle and bustle. People in a hurry to get through the crowd bumped into me, but I didn’t mind. I found organic hand-made pickles, and let the vendor help me pick out the best variety for my cubano mac and cheese. I found honeycrisp apples, a little bruised, for only $2 for a five pound bag. I debated the merits of various winter squashes with another vendor. I stopped to pick up a flyer on recycling from another booth, and cleared up some confusion about what can go into the blue bin, and what can’t. I made my way a couple blocks down to deposit a pay check that had been lying around my wallet, and then back to the train, ready to get back to the studio. I had been realizing slowly over the last hour that I felt amazing: calm, centered, serene, content, even joyful.
Sure, the honeycrisp I was munching had a little something to do with it, and the farmer’s market is always a place that can lift my spirits, but the thing that had made such a thorough difference so quickly was yoga. This was yoga off the mat at its best. I had spent the last hour of my life in the moment, absorbing everything that moment had for me, being fully present in that moment, and not needing that moment to be anything other than what it was. It was just a little taste of what planning a party, or anything else, could be like, and a very important reminder that the asana practice is only one very narrow type of yoga. Not that skipping class for a week was doing me any favors, but the more I was able to live yoga, the less I would need yoga class.