Since becoming a mom, yoga class has been my solace. For nearly two blissful hours, I am no one's parent, wife or employee. Everything goes quiet as I breathe, stretch, and focus inward. Na-ma-ste.
The other day, my guy exclaims: "I love how glowy you look after yoga. You're transformed and limber." Then, with a twinkle in his eye: "Wanna show me some moves?"
"You should totally come with me next time!" I offer.
"To your yoga class?" he asks.
He goes silent. After a long, thoughtful, visualizing pause he asks: "Are you sure? Will there be other men?"
"Tons," I lie. "How about Friday? We'll have a yoga date. I'll call the sitter."
A few days later we're in stretchy clothes, spread out on mats at the local yoga studio, staring at ceiling fans. I discreetly peek around. Phew: Three other dudes. "Have a good stretch!" I whisper to him, and close my eyes.
When choosing a yoga class for your guy, it's important to gauge his level of comfort with the spiritual stuff, first. If he's the type to take walkabouts or quote Eckhart Tolle, he'll likely get the vibe of most urban yoga classes. But if too much talk of chakras and chanting could turn him off, it's worth it to scout studios beforehand and find the right instructor for the best fit.
"Now breathe in deeply through the nose for a count of five and try to clear your mind of all the things you have done today, and all the things you need to do. Just focus on the breath," says the melodic voice of the yogi at the front of the room.
See? That's what I'm talking about. With life punctuated by endless kid-oriented tasks, when finishing a sentence seems like a superhuman accomplishment, time with your partner inevitably feels fragmented. When do you ever get a chance to just be together, but not on task?
Yoga is something I've always done alone. Once I'd extended the invite, I felt twinges of buyer's remorse. What was I doing bringing my guy to my fortress of solitude? We all remember how complicated this got for Superman.
To calm myself, I make a mental list of my concerns.
1) I'll be too stressed out about his experience to enjoy my own practice.
2) He'll dislocate a hip. Seriously. What's with men and their stiff hips?
3) He'll get stuck lying next to one of those people who loudly moan through their practice and will start to giggle. And then I'll giggle too.We'll be ejected out of yoga class for being irredeemably unenlightened!
But somewhere into the second downward dog, my anxieties leave the room. We stretch, we breathe. And by the time we reached the final savasana (the corpse-like relaxation posture), everything goes quiet. Bliss.
"That was awesome," my guy whispers as we roll up our mats. "And kind of difficult. But in a good way."
"I am so glad you liked it! You know, we should do this more often. When we go on regular dates, we're either super-tired from our day or we talk about the kid all night, but right now, I feel totally connected to you, like we have the same energy."
"What's the name of that posture, you know the one where you're in table position, and you curl your back up and then arch it and look up?"
"You mean the cat and cow tilt? It's a really good lower back release."