Clarity amid the haze

At 7:15 am I left the house to go to a yoga class.

Take a minute to bring into your mind’s eye whatever you think of when you hear the words “yoga class”.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Got it?  Okay, here’s what I generally expect when I trot off to a yoga session:

  • New-agey/pan-flutey/meditative-chantey music of some sort.  (Or just silence.)
  • A youngish, smallish, bendyish teacher; frequently wearing hemp, or malas, or products purchased from an independent fair-trade small-farm organization; often with tattoos; sometimes with a ‘natural’ body style (i.e., no shaved armpits, legs, deodorant, etc.).
  • Dim lights (sometimes candles), perhaps an alter with a small statute or some fresh flowers, maybe a stick of incense burning.

Well, this morning, here’s what I actually experienced:

  • Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze.
  • The over-60-year-old teacher, looking down at her very expensive Lululemon clothing, acknowledging my presence by looking at me and saying, “Crap, I spilled coffee all over myself leaving Starbucks; and I just hope I didn’t stain my pants.  I’m going to go to the bathroom to see if I can blot it out.” She then left me alone in the studio with Jimi.
  • The aroma of nag champa filling the air.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.  😉

I adore this teacher, precisely because she is so unique.  She’s a retired getting-older woman who has been teaching yoga for over 25 years, and she knows what she likes, and she is fully herself in every interaction I’ve observed.  She doesn’t acquiesce to notions of what yoga teachers “should” be (i.e., organic, vegan, airy-fairy, fill-in-your-preferred-stereotypical-blank), she simply is who she is – and is unapologetic for being exactly who she is.

She’s cool.  And she’s incredibly knowledgeable about yoga.  (Safe yoga.  Correct yoga. Good yoga.)  And she’s all about coffee, and shopping, and good music.

She makes me smile. Today got off to a great start.

(This is not my yoga teacher; but this is a very cool lady. May I be as healthy and happy as her when I grow up.)


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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17 Responses to Clarity amid the haze

  1. carlaat says:

    I love Nag Champa. I can’t help it. It has good connotations for me! But there’s no incense or music at the yoga classes I attend . . .


    • Stef says:

      There’s nothing wrong with liking Nag Champa – no need to apologize. 🙂 (I like it too.)

      I go to two different studios, and one uses incense, and the other doesn’t. Generally I find it to be a 50/50 usage. Same with music. (Though more and more I seek out classes that use some sort of music; I really like it…)


  2. Joss says:

    Awesome! I just love people who rejoice in who they are!


  3. Touch2Touch says:

    You’re right — not what my image of a yoga session is.
    But very much what it ought to be! She sounds really cool. Awesome.


  4. Wow, and they say yoga is boring. (Well, a lot of the time it is actually…) A lesson to us all in not trying to conform! I think Dr. Seuss said it best: “There is no one alive who is Youer than You”. 🙂


    • Stef says:

      Those who say yoga is ‘boring’ simply haven’t ever been to the yoga studio where I practice. I promise you it is anything but ‘boring’! 🙂

      Cool Dr. Seuss quote – I love it!


  5. Touch2Touch says:

    Question for Happydancecat: What Dr. Seuss book is that from? Never heard that —
    and like Stef, I love it.


    • It’s one of my favourite quotes, I actually have a ring with it engraved on it! It’s from ‘Happy Birthday To You’ and the full quote is: “Today you are you, that’s truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” 🙂


  6. deenie12 says:

    This yoga teacher sounds like JUST the kind of person I would really like and admire.

    Also, I sent that picture (or a similar one of the same woman) to my mom about a year ago, encouraging her to give yoga a try (and she did!).


  7. Lol. “Crap, I spilled coffee…”
    Good people are hard to find. 🙂


  8. i was raised in a fundamentalist christian environment where yoga is discouraged… i’m curious as to what people get from it aside from good physical exercise…?


    • Stef says:

      You ask a terrific question (i.e., what do people get from yoga aside from exercise). The answer is a little complex, in that it all depends on what the person is actually doing in their yoga practice. Some people only practice the physical aspects of yoga – and that’s cool, but that isn’t all that yoga can offer. Yoga was originally designed as a meditative practice, with the ultimate ‘goal’ of personal liberation/freedom from suffering. So, some people not only get a good physical workout from yoga, but also mental clarity, and/or emotional healing, and/or the benefits meditation can yield… It all depends on how the person is approaching (and practicing) yoga.

      If you are genuinely interested in exploring this topic further, you can read my yoga blog. It’s at (And if not, no worries; that’s cool, too.) 🙂


  9. Pingback: What’s the big deal? | Smile, kiddo.

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