This morning I subbed a couple of classes for another teacher who is either out of town or doing something interesting, but I couldn’t remember what kind of exciting event took her away from the studio.
“She might be on vacation,” I said. “Who knows - you should ask her how it was when she comes back.”
“It must be hard for you yoga teachers to go on vacation,” one of the students said, after class.
“It just takes a lot of logistical planning.”
“Yeah but you’re yoga teachers - you should be able to be spontaneous and free!”
Well, sort of.
There’s a certain amount of spontaneity afforded by a schedule made up of hour-long increments and splotchy days. Like going grocery shopping on a Tuesday afternoon or sleeping in on Fridays.
There’s also quite a lot of organizational skill required for a job that involves multiple independent contractor agreements and the idea that if you show up late for work, everything is ruined.
Not to mention, if you truly care about providing a safe and dynamic physical practice, you spend a good amount of time planning out an intelligent sequence. Even if some of that is intuitive and even if no one else will know you did it.
What looks like being spontaneous and free is often just a careful balance of riding the rails of society while following a set of rules you have designed for yourself.
I knew I would be running late for the play last night because I’m me, but also because there was no way around my me-ness coming straight from the studio.
“What row are you in?” The usher asked me. I had tried to look like I knew what I was doing, but I was checking my phone while walking, which is never a good idea, and I’m pretty sure my shirt was halfway up my stomach.
“I’m going to F.” I had a moment of doubt that must have also clouded my face. Or she caught a whiff of my sweaty, studio hair.
“Are you sure? Let’s look at your ticket.”
“Uhp, your ticket says L!” She said it like she was auditioning for a revamped Trix commercial. One where everyone is fully irritated by the rabbit and they make no attempt at masking it.
“Sure, but my friends are in F, so I’m just gonna go say hi.” The theater was half-empty and as far as I’m concerned, if you’re late you forfeit your preferred rewards privileges. Even though I also was late and this is only something I think when it applies favorably to me.
“Ooh, actually, I can’t walk you to F because your ticket says L.”
I looked forlornly down the row, unable to bring myself to sprint away down the aisle. She walked me to the L seats. There was an empty seat on the innermost side, which seemed ideal for stealing across to meet my friends once the pre-show ended.
“So you can have either seat eight in the middle, or all the way down at the end!” If the Amazon Alexa is ever bought out by Disney, her voice would be ideal.
She stood, blocking the wide expanse of the aisle and waited for me to shuffle past the only two people in the row and into a seat, surrounded by no one.
I remained in exile until intermission, when she finally stopped pacing by me and I joined row F, wishing I were actually a touch more spontaneous and free.