reveries at 105degrees

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I often hear people say, “Everyone comes into your life for a reason.”

I’m not sure I can agree 100%–I mean, everyone?–but I do know that when someone does come into your life for a reason, there’s no way of keeping them out.  There’s just no way to ignore, abandon, or otherwise run away from your person, and if you do manage to do so, it’s only a matter of time before they find their way back into your thoughts, and then, if you’re lucky (and maybe kind of brave), your life.

One year ago yesterday, I got the chance to reconnect with someone I tried to kick out of my life twelve years before.  The reasoning I used then sounds ridiculous to me now, but back then I tended to act on impulse, believing that I was “trusting my instinct.” Banishing his physical presence, while eventually successful, did nothing to keep him out of my mind.  Over the next twelve years, I would often wonder where he was, what he was doing.  In the earlier days, I found myself tempted to pick up the phone, but always backed down, wondering what I would say.

On October 13, 2012, I got brave and decided to find him.  Two weeks later, on October 25, I made it through a day at work, sat through an excruciatingly long class, got drenched in the rain on the way to my car, sped home to dry off and get changed, and finally, at about 9:30pm, sat across from this person I hadn’t really seen or spoken to in 12 years.  It was almost as if nothing had changed.  And really, everything was just beginning to change.

I had no idea that things would happen the way they did. I thought that I would apologize for what was probably the meanest thing I ever did, that we would tell each other highlights of the past 12 years, that we would say good night and promise to keep in touch, knowing that it was just a polite gesture.  I never thought that I would find a best friend.  I never imagined that one year later, I would be looking back at a challenging, amazing, beautiful disaster of a year. It hasn’t been the easiest year, but to me, that just makes it even more perfect. I’ve said it before: Nothing that’s worth it is ever easy.

Before I left my apartment that night one year and one day ago, I took a picture of myself to send to a friend, just for fun, to show off my outfit and my hairstyle. Today, just for fun, I snapped a picture before I walked into the yoga room.  When I put the two side-by-side, I was surprised, but not as surprised as you would imagine, to see that I looked very different.  Not on a surface level (although that, too, is true).  There is something different about my expression, about the look in my eyes.  Something that says that for once, I figured out the balance between serendipity and intention.  Something that says that says I’m figuring out the balance between perseverance and acceptance.  Something that was missing, but is now there.

I’m not sure if everyone comes into our lives for a reason.  But I am sure that you should keep your eyes, ears, and minds open. Don’t ignore the voice of intuition. Don’t shush the voice that tells you, “Do it now!” Don’t underestimate the power of love and forgiveness.

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Several years ago, I saw a PostSecret that read: “I am more afraid of aging than I am of dying.” It gave me pause at the time.  A couple years ago, it began to define me.

I look young, and I used to hate it.  In junior high, when girls and boys went to dances and started “dating” and paired up at parties, I was often mistaken for a 9-year-old.  After undergrad, customers at work would ask me, “Why aren’t you in school, sweetie?”  When shopping, I was followed or ignored.  At job interviews, managers squinted at my CV, trying to glean an approximate age from the dates attached to my education.  These days, though, I enjoy it.  The more I think about it, though, the more it makes me unhappy.

Why am I so attached to looking young?  Is it really vanity, or is it the simple fact that as long as I look young on the outside and feel young on the inside, I can pretend that I am not slowly getting closer to my last days in this existence?

This past year has been one revelation after another.  Someone urged me to choose one job over another, because I will soon be 35 and the “lack of insurance would be a disaster” after that age.  I have begun to notice that diet scams love to tell us that we will all be fat, sick, and hormonally wrecked “after 35.” Somehow, I became subscribed to magazines targeted to women in their 40s and 50s (I have another six years, thank you very much.) I have become intimate with several skincare and anti-aging products and procedures (and I’m not ashamed of it at all). I made plans to do things (get an internship, move in with a partner, get another tattoo) that people just seem to equate with “being in their 20s.)  And I still practice yoga every day, still look in that yoga room mirror every day, and think: “I could do better…but I don’t look old, and I don’t feel old.”

I find it funny that 20-somethings think that 30 is “old;” I remember being 21 and thinking, “Well, maybe I’ll give up working out so much when I’m 30 and things start to fall apart.”  Oh, ha ha ha.  Honestly, things are better now, I devote more time to myself (because I can, and realize that it is okay to do so), and I know more women nearly twice my age that exude radiance than I do ones who have “given up.”  I wish I could have told my 20-something self to enjoy it all more, and I wish that my 20-something self had known that getting older is far from being an end.

We can work hard to look young, take care of ourselves in order to feel young, and even (if we really want to) pretend or fib about our ages.  What we can’t do is erase the time and experiences we have had.  So to all the 20-somethings out there: Don’t enjoy your time now because you think it will all end; enjoy it because this is all contributing to who you will be in the next several decades. Don’t shortchange yourself.

To 30-something me: the same advice. To 40-somethings: the same advice. To 50-somethings: I’ll say it again. 60-somethings: you get the idea. 70-somethings: again. 80-somethings, 90-somethings, 100-somethings: the same. And namaste to you.

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I Didn’t Sign Up For This

Yesterday, I worked through what I am sure was one of my top three most difficult yoga practices ever. My body resisted every asana, and my mind, instead of calming me and breaking down the resistance, just kept making excuses and helping me berate myself. The list of excuses is long: I’m tired, I have horrible cramps and hurt everywhere, I look disgusting in the mirror, I’m doing too much, I’m going through a rough transition, I can’t handle everything I’m suddenly responsible for, it’s the two-year anniversary of my dad’s death, and the one that became my mantra, I didn’t sign up for this.

All of those were true. And no, I didn’t “sign up for this,” but this is what I have.

Today, I spent my entire practice thinking about how silly “I didn’t sign up for this!” sounds. If we all got to choose our perfect lives, we wouldn’t have any opportunities to change and grow. Without challenge, we would stay the same; as the world changes, if we stay the same, we decline by default. “I didn’t sign up for this” began to sound whiny and petulant, and I spent a good portion of class laughing (sometimes obviously laughing) at myself for spending so much time and energy on a thought that did nothing to serve me.

Many people come to yoga because they hurt. What takes a long time to understand is that sometimes, it hurts more. Yoga is a lot of things, but it isn’t a magic eraser. For me, it’s been a way to prove that I can change the things I can, and let the things I can’t fall away for a while, until (if) they, too, become things I can. It’s been a way to just be okay with feeling not-perfect (or downright horrible) in a moment, to show me that I can make it through that time and that whatever it is will pass. Because of yoga, I can suppress thoughts of “give up, quit NOW!” for ten, twenty, ninety minutes. After the practice is complete, the idea of “quit” sounds irrational, and I’m thankful for the series and the teacher and the other yogis that all (unknowingly) work together to keep me from fleeing the room.

There’s a big difference between walking away from something because you get very real bad vibes, and walking away because it is difficult. My goal is not to make my life easy. My goal is to make my life better. True, I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t sign up for any of it—not the hard things, not the unfair things, not the horrible and ugly things, not even the amazing and beautiful things. If I refuse to accept something just because I didn’t ask for it, I’m also closing myself off to the good things and resisting the things that could become beautiful.

No, I didn’t sign up for any of this. This is what I got, and that is great. I can sign up to try to change it, to try and make it better. Just like in yoga, when I am tired, exhausted, depleted, I will rest—not give up.

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This one is pretty personal.  You have been warned:)


I am fascinated by the way people react differently to stress. For example, I’m the one who can hold things together when something big happens and everyone else falls apart, but the smallest things that shouldn’t matter (think “being unable to find a roll of tape”) throw me into fits that leave  me nearly unable to function.  I’ve stopped trying to make sense of it.

Today’s yoga class was one of those crazy classes where the realizations came at me from all directions; I hardly remember the actual postures at all.  It was 90 minutes of one revelation after another.  And I almost didn’t even try to go today (but more about that later.)

At some point during class, I realized that I almost thrive on anxiety–something I probably always realized and wished I could change, but didn’t fully understand.  If I don’t have something to feel bad about, I’ll find something.  I can’t possibly be the only person who does this.  I can’t be sure, but I think this pattern’s attractiveness is rooted in fear.  I’m starting to think that most unsettled feelings start with fear, and I’m on a (n admittedly slow) mission to banish fear from my life.

Not an easy feat.

But I’m working on it.

Last night, I realized that I’ve been freed from an immense source of stress (my car; I got a new one.)  It sounds superficial that it was causing me so much panic; I didn’t realize exactly how upset I had been about it until I worked it out.  I had approximately an hour of calm, and it was liberating.  However, something in my mind decided it needed to fill the gaping hole left by my new lack of car stress.  It started at about 2:00 this morning.  I was trying to fall asleep, but my chihuahuas started barking (and they don’t, unless someone is at the door or coming in the door).  I heard a “BANG!” sound; they immediately drowned it out with more barking.  I grabbed the nearest heavy object (a 10-pound weight) and my phone, and had the speed dial for “911” pulled up as I crept into the living room, then the kitchen, sure that someone was trying to break in.

Nothing. Sigh.

I have a weird reaction to such a scare.  I eat. So I ate more than I should have in 12 hours, much less 15 minutes.  I was angry, sickened, disappointed.  I called myself names, cried, dreaded work at 9am, dreaded yoga at 3pm, dreaded looking into a mirror for the next week (or ever).

I finally fell asleep, woke up vowing to “make up for it” (which never works, but that’s a different story) and went to work.  I had to make a judgment call at work, which made me freak out a little bit, and when it was time to leave, I was agitated and could only think of two things: EAT STUFF.  And BUY THINGS.

My addictions may be odd, but I know their patterns very well.  Since I failed to figure out a way to “make up” for last night’s imperfection, and let this morning’s small incident morph into a full-blown panic, I was now forced to fight the urge (and lose; I always lose) to say “to hell with the rest of the day” and either reinforce my ridiculous shopping addiction, or eat several pints of coconut milk ice cream and an entire bag of lentils.  If it doesn’t make sense to you, it doesn’t have to.  Just know that once the idea is in my head, it is impossible to win.  Along with the sudden “I give up” is the promise of “starting over tomorrow;” add it all together, and…well, anatomy of an addiction, right?

On my way to either mindlessly buy clothing that I would ultimately return and/or procure said pints of coconut milk ice cream, though, something weird happened.  The mall was to the right, Whole Foods straight ahead, and home to the left.  I just said “no.”  And turned left.  And went home.  And then went to yoga.

And now we are back to the point.

I might sound or seem wise or enlightened at times, but I know nothing about forgiveness.  I’ve never actually considered “forgiving myself” at any point. (The fact that I feel the need to put that in quotes is pretty telling. As if it is a concept I feel comfortable with only if I am ridiculing it.)  If I do anything that I perceive as a mess-up, I have to cause myself a lot more damage before saying, “okay, enough, start over, try again.”  There are no exceptions.  It’s perfection or nothing.  Perfection, or create an absolute disaster.  Most people don’t understand this, and I’m tired of explaining.  I, on the other hand, don’t entirely understand the concept that there exists any other way; I’m still feeling unsettled about how I reacted today, even though it was probably the “better” reaction.

The big revelation of the day, though, was that I project this on to others.  I absolutely do not know the way to forgive somebody.  Not surprising. The surprising thing was the realization of why.  It seems that when I care, when I really, truly care about somebody, I tend to view their imperfect actions as insults.  I take them personally.  And, well…that’s not really “loving” at all, now is it?

Instead of feeling worse about myself and calling myself all the names that would fit (selfish, crazy, self-centered, oblivious, etc) I am going to remember this and try to understand. I get frustrated and angry when others don’t understand, so I’m trying to do away with the double standard.  Instead of feeling insulted or hurt or anxious or worried or angry or disappointed, I’ll try to respond with compassion.  Actually typing this out makes it sound like the most obvious thing in the world, and I might be the very last person on earth to realize this.

In case I’m not, though…you’re welcome.

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Dear Saab 900 Turbo,

I first noticed your kind when I was about 9 years old. I was attracted to your unique body shape, your “different” look, your intense demeanor.  When I finally turned 16, I could only afford a used Chevy.  Still, I dreamed of you.  Each time I had to replace my car, you were “impractical,” too expensive, not available.  Finally, twelve years later,  you were mine.

I flew out to Denver to pick you up.  I cried on the way back to the hotel, and squealed with joy at the echo of your turbo engine’s growl as I made my way up the parking garage ramp.  I bought you a sticker and a crystal lotus flower to hang from your mirror. I was in love.

The relationship was rocky at first.  On the way home, you broke down in a town called Colby, Kansas.  I had to search for days for someone who could fix you.  I got back on the road, another $900 poorer, only to have you die again after about 40 miles.  Back at the shop, they told me you needed a new fuel filter as they cleaned out your old one. They told me you would need a “special diet” of 93 octane gas in order to run well.  I didn’t care. I was finally with my Saab.

When I got home, I only had you a month before someone decided to break your windows and rip out your dashboard, all in order to steal a cheap Alpine CD player.  I found you a new dashboard on eBay, paid someone $800 to re-wire everything, and never replaced the radio out of fear that someone would break your windows again.  For months, I sat in the garage at night, guarding you fiercely.

Over the years, you’ve taken me many places, broken several times, seen much abuse.  You’ve gotten a new clutch, a new brake system, a new radiator, new belts and hoses and other small parts that add up.  I’ve spent over twice as much repairing you as I did buying you. You’ve been scraped, hit, dented, nicked.  You’ve taken me to a dog funeral, my dad’s funeral, my new jobs, scary court dates.  You’ve accompanied me on quests to find old friends and new shoes.  You’ve started many conversations and have always been a source of pride.

Saab, lately you’ve been acting like you don’t feel well. I know you are old.  You are dented and dirty, and your headliner sags so badly I can’t see out the rearview mirror.  I know that your speedometer doesn’t work, so I have to be careful not to speed and get a ticket.  Your gas gauge doesn’t work, so I have to make sure I know how far I’ve driven every day; your odometer doesn’t work, so I have to map out the distance for every tiny trip I take so that I can monitor the gas tank.  You used to get about 400 miles on an 18-gallon tank.  Now, it seems that you only get about 18 miles per gallon (of 93 octane gas).  In the summer, you overheat if I don’t turn your heat on full blast. (Today, someone asked me if it was raining outside. Nope, just sweating from my hot car.)  You make a sound like an aging dinosaur, and sometimes you won’t start.

It doesn’t matter, though. I love you, Saab. I don’t care if you don’t shine, if you have dents, if you make funny noises and act a bit lazy sometimes.  It’s okay. I don’t always want to smile, I don’t always feel like getting up in the morning, and sometimes I’m unshowered, too.


Today, you started dying in the road.  In the road.  On the highway.  The first time, an SUV almost rear-ended me, narrowly missing by swerving at the last minute.  When I got you moving again, I moved into the far right lane, ready to exit, ready to take side roads.  You died again, but this time, I made it on to the shoulder.  I thought we were safe.  When the 18-wheel truck sped by so closely that we rocked side-to-side and I was sure that your mirror was going to go flying, I started to cry.

Saab, I think it’s time to say goodbye.

Just think.  You will no longer have to deal with me screaming and hitting your steering wheel in traffic or in crazy parking lots.  You will no longer deal with the start-stop city drives I take almost every single day. You will never again have to feel the cold trickle of a spilled green smoothie on your upholstery, and never again have to carry around a sweaty, stinky yoga mat.  Maybe someone who loves Saabs even more than I do (and has a lot more money) will fix you up.  Maybe you will be taken apart to save other sick Saabs.

In the next few days, I’m going to do my best to find a way to get a car that will reliably take me to my jobs, will not cost more in gas than my monthly rent, that will not stall on highways nearly leading to a messy end for both of us.  Then, Saab, I will try my best to find you a new home.  A good home.

You were my Saab for five years.  I’ve never had the same car for that long.  Thank you, Saab, for those years.  It’s hard, but I think it’s time to say goodbye.

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Father’s Day (take two)

this post is a little bit late; i apologize

My yoga practice suffered last Saturday and Sunday.

I tried to blame it on irresponsible food choices, dehydration, lack of sleep…all the usual suspects.  I knew, however, that I would eventually have to face the real reason why anxiety took over and dragged me through class:  the grief and guilt I feel every single day, magnified by Father’s Day weekend.

It was only my second Father’s Day without my dad; he only died less than two years ago.  I have all the feelings/experiences I consider “normal,” such as still missing him every day, reaching for the phone to call him with good (or bad) news, wondering how he would react to all my recent life changes, worrying about him for a moment when a major storm is reported in his area. I also have an odd sense of what I can only call “guilt” that surfaces any time I am struggling or in pain.

My dad–an incredibly strong, intelligent person who taught me how to swim, ice skate, water ski, and drive a boat (among many other things)–drowned in the lake behind his home.  It didn’t make sense to me then, it still doesn’t now, and it never will.  The old joke between us was that I would be the 75-year-old woman in the tattoo parlor getting a “Dad” memorial tattoo, because his side of the family enjoyed amazing health and life spans of 95+.  (Instead, I was 32 when I got “I love you” in his handwriting tattooed on my left foot, 33 when, as a memorial on the first anniversary, I had pink apple blossoms added to my shoulders.)

Losing anybody–a relative, friend, pet, anybody–is difficult.  It seems, at least to me, that losing somebody to a scary freak accident is even more difficult.  In the days and weeks that followed, of course I cried because I missed him, because he wouldn’t see me finally get my Master’s and  someday help me move across the country again, because he wouldn’t be there the next time I had a crisis.  But I really focused on the things that he experienced: Did it hurt? Was he scared? What did he think of? Where is he now–lost, happy, not happy, just gone? I guess anybody could feel this about any death, but I wasn’t prepared for the way it got into me and wouldn’t let go.

Showering became a scary experience in which I would hold my breath until I felt dizzy. (Why not?)  I still can’t drink flat water unless it has actual ice cubes floating in it (hence my obsession with sparkling water, and my avoidance of yoga-room-temperature water).  I went to California, swearing I would run into the ocean; when the water covered my little tattooed feet, I ran back to the dry sand.  And those yoga poses where it’s difficult to breathe and/or sweat drips deep into your nose?  I panic.  I don’t mean like “crap, it’s hard to breathe, I should adjust my pose,” I mean full-fledged, guilt-ridden, freak-out panic.  And then I berate myself.  It isn’t pretty.

Father’s Day was like any other day.  I woke up, made a smoothie, went to the gym, worked on an editing project, cleaned some stuff out of the closet.  When I got to the studio, I took one of my “regular” spots and sat down to tie a blue ribbon in my hair (as I did last year on Father’s Day, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death.)  I was barely into standing head-to-knee when I realized that I wasn’t really breathing.  I was hurting.  I was taking short, shallow breaths.  I considered sitting out, but told myself, “don’t be lazy, you know, your dad can’t even ever do yoga anymore ever again, get up off your ass.” (See? Berating myself.)  Any time I feel sorry for myself (in yoga, when carrying heavy things, when burdened with work, when enduring verbal abuse) I fall back on the same thing.  At least you’re still alive to endure this. I know it isn’t healthy or helpful.  But it happens.

Somewhere during the floor series, my hair suddenly felt so tight that I had to tear the blue ribbon and rubber band out of my hair.  I hate feeling like I’m causing a scene, but the sudden pain and discomfort was extreme.  I still wasn’t breathing.  I still didn’t think I would even make it through.  I stopped to think, and decided that I should take comfort in the fact that I wasn’t the only person in the room missing their dad that day.  It was a quite humbling experience for someone who has an “I can overcome anything I set my mind to” attitude.  Because I can’t.  I can’t overcome death.  And even though it feels like someday he will call me again, or next Christmas he will be at the party…he won’t. Not in the way I’m thinking.  And I wonder if that feeling will ever go away, if it will ever all seem real.

When I got home after (barely) surviving that class, I noticed that his funeral home card had “leapt” off the bulletin board where it’s been since September 2011.  This has happened maybe twice before.  I checked to see if all windows were closed, fans off, dogs in crates.  Yes, yes, and yes.  I picked up the card, put it back into its place, and thought about how sometimes, over-used sentiments can be true.  I will be sad, probably forever.  But I will try to focus on gratitude: I got lucky in the Dad department, even if it was for only 30  years instead of 80.

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Things Not to Eat Before a (Bikram) Yoga Class

Do you ever notice how you hear something interesting (or annoying, or terrifying) once, and then seem to keep hearing about it constantly for the next few days?

The other day, this post from MindBodyGreen found its way into my Facebook feed more than three times.  Later that day, as I rushed to get ready for class, I complained to a friend about how I had no “pre-yoga-appropriate” food in my apartment (as I sucked down a Vega “endurance gel.”) (Which is, quite honestly, not too bad, if you’re used to that sort of thing.  It is also delicious in the 30 minutes between back-to-back classes, but that is another story.)  The day’s locker room talk amongst newbies centered around eating before yoga.  Finally, one of my yoga friends approached me before class and mentioned that he was regretting eating so shortly before class.

I felt like the universe was trying to tell me something.

After almost ten years of consistent Bikram yoga practice, I am still learning the intricacies of pre-yoga eating.  You might think it sounds like an easy feat, but it is a very exact science, and one that is highly individual.  If you don’t eat for six hours before class, you’re likely to see black spots and “bonk” during standing bow.  However, if you eat a sandwich in the car on your way to class, it will likely make its presence very obvious after about thirty seconds of pranayama.  I’m (still) not an expert, but I have compiled a list of things that just don’t work for me (whether it’s me eating them, or the yogis practicing next to me eating them.)

1. Alcohol (or a bean burrito)

Possibly the first “Bikram joke” I ever heard in class, thanks to my very first instructor, was the one that goes something like: “there are two things you don’t want in this room…a hangover or a bean burrito.”  Humor aside, this is no joke.  Alcohol and working hard in a hot room don’t mix.  Neither do Taco Bell and bending and twisting in a hot room.  I once brought an unsuspecting coworker to class; he had no idea what to expect.  I watched him eat a microwave Wild Oats burrito in the car on the way to the studio.  He still hates  me.

2. Bananas

Every single article about eating before yoga recommends bananas.  I can’t.  Bananas are tasty, but they don’t like me at all.  They like to try to come back and say hello during standing separate-leg forehead-to-knee.  No, thank you.

3. Chicken

I already think chicken is one of the top five grossest things one can eat. (I won’t even bore you with the details here.) (Yet.)  Put it in the hot room, and you have the makings of a disaster.  I have never left the hot room.  I’ve endured nearly-exploding-bladder, waves of grief that left me almost unable to breathe, severe pain from my own bad food choices, and a sweat shower from the smelliest, BO-covered, unshowered man I have ever come across…and have not left the room.  The closest I ever came to leaving the room was when the person next to me had obviously eaten an entire deli’s worth of roast chicken in the hours (days? weeks? who knows?) before class.  Chicken smells (at least to me) like something rotting when it is cooked and on your plate. When you are simultaneously burping and farting at me, in a 105-degree room?  Let’s just say I almost had to leave and vomit.

4. A Venti Americano

One of my yogi friends used to laugh with me in the locker room, because we both came to class lugging enormous cups of coffee.  I generally do okay with caffeine before class, due to years of experience and an intimate knowledge of how my body processes the stuff.  If you aren’t super-hydrated with the caffeine tolerance of a Clydesdale, though, I’d suggest leaving the Guru Energy Drink for after class.

5. Hot’n’Spicy

People sometimes don’t believe me when I tell them that I never eat any kind of onions, garlic, sauces, or (most) spices.  It’s true.  My digestive system rejects it all, and I’d rather feel well than eat delicious veggie burgers (which I do so sorely miss.)  This avoidance means that I can smell these things a mile away. I’ve practiced next to what I like to call “a ketchup factory.”  There have been times that I’ve sworn I was doing toe stand in an Indian restaurant.  Oh, and Mr. Chicken Gas seemed to have eaten those roast chickens with about a dozen cloves of garlic.  Please don’t. Even if it doesn’t gross you out during class, it will offend someone next to you (or across the room).

6. Bodybuilder Cuisine

~12 years ago, I loved all those “female fitness competitor” magazines.  I followed those diets to a T.  (Oatmeal, egg whites, whey protein powder, cottage cheese, and tuna.  ALL THE TUNA.)  My digestive system hated me.  I also realized that the overly-muscled dude huffing sulfur on me from the next treadmill over was suffering from what I like to call “ketosis and tuna breath.”  Also, how can you not notice that the tuna smells and tastes exactly like…the can it comes in?

7. A Cuban Cigar (or any kind, for that matter)

Confession: I used to smoke.  Not cigars, but cigarettes.  And not casually–I smoked about a pack a day.  When I quit (in 2007) I realized how stinky I was in the yoga room, and was mortified.  Now, if I even visit a smoking establishment or household, I can literally smell the nasty sweating out of me during class.  I can’t even imagine how awful it was for the people practicing next to me those first few years.  I am still embarrassed, and I apologize.

Silliness aside, the whole “eating-before-yoga” topic is both overdone and underexplored.  There is no one thing that will work for (or backfire on) everybody.  It is entirely trial-and-error (as I always tell the first-timers who are huddled in a ball on the floor, face screwed up and arms wrapped around stomach, after their first class.)  It can take months or even years to figure out what works for you.

Just try to keep the really heavy experimentation out of the hot room…or at least, on the opposite side of the room.