The Gratitude Project: Finding Grace

Sometimes finding Grace can be like:

…in other words, damn near impossible. First, I had to figure out what the hell Grace WAS (in the most general sense), and then I had to figure out how to find it and apply it beyond yoga, in real life.

My latest lesson came during yoga. We set our intention (I intend to find Grace)… sealed it, and started the practice. My teacher was new. I had never taken her class before (Bikram), but decided to be open to the challenge. Let the record state that I am NOT a fan of Bikram…

…But I’m trying to be open.

So the teacher is telling us that she’s going to make us familiarize ourselves with ‘discomfort’ so that we can further our practice. Okay, that’s lovely. She calls for us to go into standing splits:

And I’m hoping that I look like this picture. Of course I don’t. So the teacher (apparently) comes over to help me get there. I say apparently because I never heard or felt her coming near me. I just took a deep breath…

…AND NEARLY PASSED OUT.

Okay. Seriously? All of nature’s most wretched odors had apparently decided to have a party, on my  yoga instructor’s pants. GrossGrossGrosGrossGrossGross…

She’s pressing on my lower back to straighten me out and telling me to take deep breaths and I want to scream I CAN’T! IF I TAKE A DEEP BREATH I MIGHT DIE…

She finally releases me and I take a much needed deep breath and continue the class. I’m now very aware of this teacher… and I can tell when she’s walking by me (we’re practicing with our eyes closed) because damn if those clothes don’t smell like they’ve been sitting in a damp basement for the last 12 months. And I’m remembering why I DON’T like Bikram. At 120 degrees, I’m going to need some folks to get familiar with a little soap, water (and would some deodorant kill you?), and run the clothes through an extra rinse cycle. We all have to be here. I’m just saying.

Then I remember my intention. Grace. Okay. I can do this. None of this is my problem. Concentrate on your practice. Stay on your damn mat. Which, loosely translated, means mind your damn business. So I do.

I am Grateful For… finally finding Grace.

Once I got outta my head, the rest of the practice went fine. I actually left the class feeling really good. And I must have done something right, because the teacher approached me after class and told me how impressed she was with my practice (really?). I told her I was headed home to toss my clothes in the wash with a cup of vinegar to keep them from going wonky. She immediately gets interested and asks me about that, because she’s trying to ‘stay natural’ with cleaning her clothes but is having a hard time with it (we know). So I tell her about my vinegar trick, and she says she’s going to try it.

Seriously, one cup of this stuff in the wash water before you add the clothes = magic. Leaves no vinegar smell either. Works like a charm.

So now I’m feeling a bit like an ass for complaining so much in my head, especially since I’ve been there with the funk factor. I used to blow folks out of the stratosphere before I learned about vinegar.

She hugs me before I leave and says she hopes to see me again for class. Well hell, she just might. Now that we’ve addressed that lil’ smell issue (sorta), Bikram might not be that bad after all.

Here’s hoping.

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2 comments

  1. Helen says:

    Bwahahahahaaaaaa!!!! OMG I was not expecting to laugh so damn hard! I came here for makeup tips dangit! Hahahaaa. I like how you casually mentioned the vinegar. Now that is pretty graceful. You are a great writer, Shahada. Thanks for the laughs. Now off to find the C. Tilbury blush swatches I came for. I tried her lipsticks and I’m in love.

  2. 😀 I’m glad you got a laugh! Sometimes, that’s all we can do because OMG I promise I have not smelled something like that… in … EVER. And I was undone that it came from the TEACHER! So I had to get it together… and just slide that lil’ vinegar tip in there. Hell, I wish someone had done that for me back in the day! I finally asked for help from a friend because my clothes were horrid and the smell was NOT coming out. Vinegar works, trust.

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