When Yoga on the Beach is Anything But

You know how every now and then something happens—something strange and bizarre—and you catch yourself looking around, knowing full and well that Ashton Kutcher and his buddies from MTV are lurking in the bushes waiting to spring out and inform you that yes, indeed, you have been punk’d. What? You don’t ever think that? Ever? Please, don’t tell me I‘m the only one whose mind floats down that path every now and then … I mean surely, I cannot be the only one who has the strange and bizarre happen to them?? Right.

Anyway, a few years ago, while thoroughly enjoying myself in the Florida Keys with absolutely nothing to do but breathe (and slug a few piña coladas down my throat), I decided to try “yoga on the beach”—a class touted to be Vinyasa. Sweet! I thought to myself, because admittedly, while I was thrilled to have nothing to do but breathe (and slug those aforementioned coconut rum concoctions) I was worried that my newly-found positive mental state (and biceps) would suffer from a week without a regular practice. So I signed up, sauntered up, and prepared to inhale and exhale, and sweat like a mother in the midst of the sand and sun. Ah. Serenity. Peace had found me.

The instructor, a misplaced June Cleaver looking lady, welcomed me and the others and directed us to place out mats facing the ocean. I am skeptical by the beehive and makeup that June has on but with a loud exhale, I let my cynicism go and proceed to my place in the sun. Ahhhh, all is well despite the loud parrots that appear to be mocking me from above.

We begin by standing … and breathing … and then—then June asks us to beat our chests with our fists to “open up the heart,” she says. Huh?? OK. Fine. Whatever. I play along. After a few minutes of King Kong imitations we move on to beating our kidneys to … yea … you guessed it … “open up our kidneys” … and then. THEN, the Macerana comes on … and this is where she loses me … I look around—am I the only one that finds this odd?

Was there a hookah-smoking caterpillar somewhere nearby?

I mean I’m no Kino but I know a Vinyasa when I see one. And then it clicks. I am being punk’d! I start to dissect the surrounding trees for Mr. Kutcher and his posse but alas, they are nowhere. I look back at June and wonder if perhaps she is actually he in disguise, but when she begins to jiggle and wiggle I’m pretty certain she, is no he.

I continued to play along, and after one very long hour of opening my organs later, I thanked June for class and carefully backed off the beach so I wouldn’t fall deeper into Wonderland, or Never Neverland or whatever land I’d fallen into and made my way back to my room. But where had the boys from MTV gone? And when would the video of me imitating a large ape be broadcast? Was anyone going to contact me? I mean I just had to see that video before it reached the public! What if it was so horribly unflattering that I became the laughing stock of the yoga world? Panic was setting in—I hated seeing myself on video. Of course admittedly, I’m often too harsh on myself … then again, aren’t we all?

And the morale of the story is … Later that day I was tempted to call the front desk and explain all the reasons why that “class” was not Vinyasa, when I recalled something one of my “real” Vinyasa instructors once told me.

“Don’t get caught up in where you are today or where you want to be tomorrow. Simply enjoy the journey.”

So, you know what I did? Yep. I went back to the beach, ordered up a round of piña coladas and focused on what I enjoyed. Hey, maybe I learned something from my sixty minutes of bizarre and unusual? Besides, not only is every journey different, but so is everyone’s bizarre and unusual. Namaste peeps. (Oh, and Mr. Kutcher, I know you have that video somewhere just do me a favor and don’t broadcast my downward dog … you’re good to go with my updog though 😉

On Being a Flexitarian

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