June 25, 2005

Namistay to Alameda Yoga Station

Leaving my Saturday morning yoga class at Alameda Yoga Station with Nancy Leigh-Smith is one of my greatest losses in moving to Houston.

For three years Lance, Larry, Michael and I have been loyal Saturday, 8:30am yogis. Others have come and gone but we are the core group. Together we’ve experienced the teaching of Stacey, Jamie and now Nancy.

What’s interesting is that through three years of weekly meetings - stinky, greasy, garlicy from our Friday night outings - we’ve never asked anything about each other’s lives. You never know whose going to show up each week and are always delighted to see the core group, hoping that if one is missing they will be back the next week.

But what we do know is everything about each other’s physical strengths and weaknesses. We’ve watched each other become more flexible over the years, both with our bodies and our open mindedness to getting bendy. With good humor we’ve contorted our bodies into whatever pose our teacher presents, aware of our various life injuries.

Today’s class featured partner poses, always hard since I don’t feel comfortable touching other people. This time we looked like S&M fanatics. Nancy declared, “you really have to trust each other for this pose” as we used straps to help each other fly forward like swans. And trust we did.

Ever since the group has become aware of my departure to Houston our silence about life outside the studio has been broken. We’ve shared bad weather stories and tales of jobs in far off lands. As class ended Nancy handed me a beautiful card signed by the group. I realized this is a special circle of friends who see a secret and vulnerable side of me that never comes through in my always-business-minded life. I hope that I can be this vulnerable in Houston.