Prayer and collective nose clearing

If you know me, you know that I love yoga. I started doing yoga in pursuit of fitness, but over time, it has become a spiritual practice for me. Now, I use it as a time of prayer, meditation and communion with God.

That’s not to say that yoga classes don’t get a little, well, weird sometimes. After all, in a room packed with people of various ages and genders contorting in different ways and chanting meditative verses, strange things are bound to happen. The occasional embarrassing fart that slips during Happy Baby pose is just the tip of the iceberg.

Like, did I tell you about that one time, when my favorite yoga instructor started the class by passing around tissues to each yogi and conducting us through a symphonic, coordinated nose blowing? It was like a room full of yoga pants-wearing trumpets.

Or that other time, when an instructor played a crystal bowl in different tones and rhythms to speak to each one of our chakras? I’m telling you – it felt so spiritual at the time. By the time I left class, I had convinced myself I needed to own a crystal chakra bowl. But once I came home and tried to explain it to Bryan, I started to realize that it sounded a bit ridiculous.

Last night’s class was really something special. Honestly, the whole room felt very sacred during the hour I was there. But once I got outside? Well, here’s a text I sent to my friend, Bess, after returning home:

“Today’s class was devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr. The teacher played a gospel/rap/R&B playlist she mixed, and she read us three poems. She sang an a capella civil rights song as we laid in Reclined Tree pose, and we meditated for all of the living creatures of the world. People were moved near tears. And, I finally had the courage to sing along with the Shanti song.”

Shanti Song

I waaaaaaant everyonnnnnnne

in allllllll the worrrrrrrrrrld

to be haaaaaaaapyyyyy

Shaaaaaanti Shaaaaaanti Shaaaaaanti 

Though, in your first class, you might mistake the Shanti song for this song. Not the same kind of spiritual, my friends.

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