Wednesday, September 2, 2009

yoga and tomatoes

I woke up early this morning for sehri. (Helps to be jet-lagged.) Full of good intentions to heat up yesterday's beans and rice and tortillas for a nourishing sehri, but at 4.45 with fajr minutes away, fell back on a bowl of cereal and fruit. Then after prayers, I sat on the rocking chair trying to meditate/ watching the sun rise just beyond the scraggly tomato plant on my fire escape. The next thing I know I was waking up and it was 6.10 in the morning. Ten minutes too late for my walk to the Y for the yoga class. Of course, I could not go late to class. Besides I was too sleepy to do justice to the class. I have thirty-two years of experience coming up with excuses that make me feel like I am doing a favor to the world by not doing what I have to do.

I went anyway. It must have taken two minutes of grim self-parenting to get into my yoga clothes and leave the apartment. But the moment I stepped out into the bracing dawn air, I was glad I did it. Early morning joggers and delighted dogs in the park. Light slowly filling the shadows. Everything fresh and stark.

I was late by ten minutes. The teacher made me and a biker guy who was late, wait till the class finished a beginning round of shavasana. Then we slipped into class. This morning class is a pretty mellow, slow-moving class. Lots of stretching and alignment. I really like the teacher and in fact, when I think of him waking up at godknowswhen to make it from midtown Manhattan to Brooklyn for this early morning class, three days a week, I know how silly my own excuses are.

Since I just got back to the city, so many of the things that used to be routine are now new all over to me. Like the walk to and from the Y. It's a half an hour walk and it takes me through the park and downtown Brooklyn. At that hour, it's mostly people who are exercising and the proletariat, mostly immigrant, on their way back from early morning shifts. City coming alive. The walk is half an hour each way and provides the perfect cardio-bookends to my mellow yoga class. Besides I get to buy my vegetables. Today, a fruit cart vendor had tomatoes at 75 cents for a pound. So I came home with three pounds of tomatoes. There are stuffed tomatoes in my immediate future.

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