INDOOR. YOGA ROOM.
In a room pull of yogies, the instruction is sitting cross-legged facing the students. Sweat starts dripping down everyone’s forehead.
SWEAT DRIPPING DOWN SHOULDER. EVEN STEAM STARTS TO CONDENSE WITHIN THE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES THAT EACH STUDENT BROUGHT WITH THEM.
“Now close your eyes and think about what you want to achieve in today’s practice.”
“Let’s focus on the present. Leave all your troubles at the changing room for just one hour, and in this hour, just stop worrying and focus on yourself, focus on your breathing and treat this practice as an opportunity to cleanse your soul.”
“Let’s open this practice with one ‘OOM’.”
The whole room chants in unison.
The whole room bows.
LAUREN BOWS AND THEN STANDS ON HER FEET.
There is something about the beginning of these yoga practices that makes her feel extremely comfortable. She’s not sure if it’s the soothing music playing in the background, the never-changing rituals of bowing and namastes, or the refreshing lemongrass smell that reminds her of Thailand that relaxes her.
Like the man, she has become a creature of rituals too.
As she comes up from a forward bend and goes into a backbend, raising her hands up towards the ceiling, she lifts her head and sees her reflection.
She started her yoga practices a few years ago and fell in love with it instantly. She loves how yoga isn’t just about technicality. It’s a blend between strength and flexibility, stability and mobility. You can definitely go into a pose not thinking about it and just be done with it, but you can also think about it deeply and perfect it, reaching a balance between the physique and the mind. Sometimes, a pose is not achievable yet because your mind refuses to believe in it. Once you let go of the mind, and you listen to your body, the sky is the limit.
The sky is the limit.
As Lauren goes into Warrior One, she looks out through the window from the studio into the distance.
She hopes today’s practice will help her achieve just that – reach the limit.
Sweat continues to slide down her hairline to her chin and eventually down –
onto the yoga mat. Making a sweat mark.