Friday, 2 May 2008


HEY! How come there's no writing pieces in my mailbox from you guys? Does no one read me anymore? HELLO???

Anyway, since you didn't do homework, I came prepared:

“Danayamana Dhanurasana; Standing bow pose,” Sharif said from his perch in front of the mirrored wall. Sweat was printing out on his navy blue t-shirt like ribs.

I gave a shake to release any tension and wandering thoughts from my shining body. But then I got caught up in the mirrored wall we all faced. I raked back the straggly loose hair from my face and re-arranged my new neon pink gym bra. I watched the scrawny girl, wearing heavy waterproof make-up, in a black leotard in her usual corner spot at the front. I admired the sprawling, branching tree tattoo on the tiny Asian girl’s back in front of me. The other Fulham blondes wore expensive gym bras and bottom-defining spandex. Their diamond wedding rings lay on the floor next to them because the one hundred degrees farenheit atmosphere made us drip perfumed sweat that made them slip off their fingers anyway. The men remained bare back in nothing but soaked swim trunks and shorts.

Sharif continued soothingly into his microphone headpiece, “Try not to think about your heart racing in your chest right now. Try not to think about the sweat dripping in your eyes and tickling the little hairs on your body. Try not to think about what the other people around you are doing. Try not to compete with them.”

Everything he told me not to think about got me thinking about it. I breathed out loudly, sucked in my stomach to see my ribs in the mirror and tried to focus. This is your favourite pose. You’ve been practicing it all week. Get it right this time. Focus. Focus…

“Put your right hand out, palm facing up, like you’re a waitress holding up a tray, and lean into your left foot. Reach your right hand back to grab your right foot two inches from your toes. Lift your left arm high up in the air. STRETCH with it. REACH for that ceiling. That’s it. And when you’ve got perfect balance, lean your upper body forward.”

I started leaning immediately. The others weren’t far behind.
“REACH for that front mirror, WITHOUT looking at the people in the reflection. Focus only on yourself, and on the Standing Bow. Touch that front mirror with your extended arm. It’s okay if you don’t see your right foot behind you over your head in the mirror. In a few weeks, with practise, you will.”

It sure as hell mattered. But soon, without fail, I saw the red nail polish on my toes peak out from behind my high ponytail. I couldn’t help but look for everyone else’s toes while I lowered myself expertly.

“Maintain that perfect arch in your back, that bow. And keep that extended arm as straight as you can. That’s your arrow.”

The front row had become the perfect weapons that they were, looking at themselves in the mirror with low yogic gazes. It was so quiet, all you could hear was the shifting fabric of one of the men’s track shorts, and the steady dripping of sweat on the purple mat of the man next to me.

“Twenty more seconds.”

There was a groan in the left back corner as a woman lost grip of her leg. It slung back so fast that it made the man next to her lose his balance and fall agilely back onto his wet feet.

Shit, I thought. A tidal wave was gathering, as the people in her line of fire began to waver and lose balance, flinging their limbs around in vein to steady themselves. They all fell, one by one; a dead silent Mexican wave, coming straight at me. I looked away and ground my steady foot further into my mat.
“Keep reaching. Not long now.”

Two feeble poses away, another man fell. The man to my left remained strong, his eyes closed. But the wind, it was still coming.

“And….five, four, three…”

The cool breeze had reached me, a relief from the heat, but it swayed me. I fell in a huff.

No comments: