It was a little like walking into a prayer -- an unremarkable bungalow, circa 1900 -- going to "Quiet Yoga." My friend C. and I were the only people there other than our facilitator, a beautiful young woman named Lin, whose hair was pulled back in a long black braid and moved with the ease and grace of the young and fit. All very hushed, no music. Silky light. We unrolled our mats and Lin told us we could do our own practice or follow her.
At first the silence was disconcerting -- we were all-breath, and without a melody or chanting the breath-sounds grew magnified and took on greater importance. My usual (bad practice) breath-holding was more evident than ever, and finally I settled into a rhythm, air in, air out. Who knew breathing was so important?! (Duh.)
Stiff. Out of yoga-shape.
At one point I was facing Lin's calendar, and saw that she volunteers at the Crisis Clinic. It struck me as very odd that here I was in someone's home, knowing nearly nothing about this person. (C. had seen an advert. for "Quiet Yoga" on a local reader-board.) Lin had opened her door to us, complete strangers. And we took off our shoes and went to work, bending and contorting our limbs in this stranger's house.
Lavish blue blossoms and some East Indian characters were painted on a wall; paper shades concealed the sliver moon, city lights. The energy was that of peace, at a slow simmer .
When an hour was up, and we regained speech, she asked if we'd stay for meditation. Alas, it was time to go.
C. and I walked the half-mile back to our houses through dark November streets, a day past Halloween. No pumpkins lit, the noise of the world turned way down.
Life continues to offer up the new and the unexpected.
I bow my head in gratitude.