Sometimes we only think we know where we should be.
The other night, for whatever reason, I was not supposed to be at yoga. I don’t know why, and I never will, but I was not supposed to be there.
That’s not to say I didn’t try. Believe me, I did!
In yoga, we’re told to trust the process. I’ve heard this saying lots of times, but it’s only recently that I’ve begun to understand its meaning. I think it means that we are exactly where we are supposed to be at the time we are there, even if we think we should be elsewhere.
And the other night I got the chance to trust this process.
For whatever reason, my best efforts to get to yoga landed me right back where I started. I don’t know why, and I never will; but, in the end, I think I have to trust that I was just not supposed to be there.
I came home from work and did whatever it is I do when I come home. Per my usual, at 7 pm, I changed into my yoga clothes and left the house.
I am an early bird by nature. I have a hard time being late, and to be on time and not early actually takes an effort on my part.
Usually, I have an easy drive to yoga, a miraculously easy time finding parking, and I always wind up on my mat at the start of class.
On this beautiful winter night, the sky was clear, the stars were out, and the moon followed me on my drive downtown. It hung low in the sky with a yellowish tinge and served as a backdrop to a pretty strange night of yoga that never was.
I landed in a great parking spot, but the meter was broken. Two other yogis were trying to pay as well. No luck for any of us.
I hopped back in the car, made an illegal, non-yogic U-turn and parked in another spot across the street behind yet another yogi. This time, the meter worked.
Class was starting in 10 minutes, and the line was out the door. At this studio, signing up online does not guarantee a spot, and I chatted with the yogi who had parked in front of me while we inched slowly forward. This part always takes patience. It’s where the practice really begins!
We were close enough to the entrance to hear the instructor start the class. And then, to my surprise, we were turned away. The room was full, there were no more spots.
On the walk back to our cars, my parking buddy confided that she had a backup plan. I begged her to tell me. I was all set to practice with no place to go.
I don’t know if you are as crazy as I am, she replied. I assured her I was absolutely crazy without a doubt, and she told me about a class starting in 20 minutes across town.
So off we went on a second try.
The moon was framed in my car’s front window, and it kept me company as I drove further downtown to a perfect spot right in front of this next studio.
My name was put on a wait list below that of my new yoga pal’s. This class was full, too. After intense discussions between the instructor and the front desk, it was determined that there was only one spot left.
It’s gotta be hers, I said. After all, this was her back up plan. No, it’s gotta be hers, she said. I don’t want bad karma! I told her to come!
We stood there as a pair. Two yogis being too nice.
The front desk assured us that her name was legitimately before mine on the wait list, so in she went, and home I went.
It had been two hours since I had set out for yoga. Driving home, I was reminded of another time I was all dressed up for yoga with no place to go.
It was the previous fall, and I was leaving for an early morning class when I locked myself out of the house without realizing I had access to the spare keys in my garage.
Fortunately, I had my phone and my coffee and called for someone with a spare. I sat down in the dark with the morning moon for company and missed my class, thinking I was stuck on the front stoop.
Later that same night, I told my friend the story, that I had sat outside that morning with access to my keys the whole time without knowing and without going.
This friend has a beautiful Jamaican accent and calls me Han.
It was early evening, and the moon had yet to show its face.
Han, he said, you were not supposed to be at yoga this morning.
He’s not a yogi, but he knew to trust the process. He simply shook his head in response and smiled knowingly.
There is a reason why, he said, but we don’t get to know it.