Taoist Yoga and Guitars that Play Themselves
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
A few weeks ago I cut my finger, deeply, while cutting potatoes. Damn, no krav maga for a while, I thought. Within a few days, “damn” turned into gratitude and I realized I didn’t want to go to krav maga. But I had seven classes left on my Groupon purchase; what do to?
Yoga. Turns out the Groupon is good for any classes at the center–krav maga, boxing, or yoga. I had feared the yoga offered would focus on causing as much pain as possible–perhaps 40 minutes of abs followed by 20 minutes of non-stop chaturangas, with an instructor flipping a walking stick up into my gut to correct an insufficient downward dog.
When I showed up for class this morning, the only other person in the room asked why I was there. “I’m here to take a yoga class I’ve never been to,” I told him.
“I’m here to teach that yoga class you’ve never been to,” he responded.
That got us talking, and when I asked what style he teaches, he said people usually refer to it as “Taoist yoga” because of its focus on going with the flow of your body–a mix of hatha poses, vinyasa, and tai chi with softer breath. “The world is so hard,” he said, “we don’t need to add ujjayi breath to that; our breathing is calmer, slower.
No one else came to class so I got one-on-one instruction and I really love this style. The instructor focused on yin and yang elements, alternating poses that took a lot of effort, energy, and concentration with poses that focused more on stretching and opening. And the juxtaposition of an om soundtrack in the yoga room upstairs with the club music blaring from the krav maga studio downstairs made me laugh.
At some point during our 11am class, the instructor mentioned he had gone to the gym earlier this morning. “Really?” I asked. “I drank coffee and read the paper before I came here.”
And this morning, as I browsed the coupons, a single string sounded. I immediately looked up and began running through ways that could possibly have happened. Nothing logical came to mind, and as I began imagining that perhaps something had happened to my dad and this would be a story told for generations, I saw a white figure dash across the circular opening behind the strings.
Was that a mouse? I wondered. Could a mouse even get in there? Before I had settled on an answer, a moth flew out, plucking another string on its exit.