I am thinking now that there is a lot of "material" in the yoga/union of dating...
Speed Dating Yoga
My first clue that something was amiss should have been when I was putting makeup. Then checked to see if my outfit matched – normally it’s hair in pony and yesterday’s sweats. I was nervous.
Of course, we aren’t talking about a regular class here; I was headed for Speed Dating Yoga. Recently single and passionate about yoga, it seemed like a no brainer.
After finding what I deemed to be a suitable spot in Crunch’s large studio, not in the middle but also not too far in the corner, I grabbed blankets and blocks. Dating yoga or not, I refused to compromise my practice for ego.
Surely no one would be showing up to this, I kept thinking as about 40 women and men drifted into the room.
The class was co-taught by Jess and Nancy, a friendly duo whose first aim was to put everyone at ease. It wasn’t until Jess offered that we weren’t here to make love matches, just to have fun, maybe meet a friend, or find a friend for a friend that I began to relax. The pressure I felt to be liked or noticed, like I was in some bar or at a party, felt really awkward and intrusive at yoga, and I wasn’t fond of it.
Jess led us through about a half hour of basic vinyasa, into standing poses which included prassarita and the option of going up into headstand. All of the sudden my feet were over my hips before I knew what happened. (Apparently my animal instinct to “preen my feathers and show my prowess” was a lot stronger than I thought, after all I was really here as a reporter, not a searching single, right?) During the pass through on the other side, I took the shoulder opening version, and let of go of the thoughts that I wasn’t going to attract/impress a mate if I didn’t push my practice to my edge. I was now conscious of doing yoga however where the POINT was for people to be checking you out. It made me a little nauseous.
The last hour was spent in partner exercises; stretches and postures for two where Jess would give us fun and silly questions to ask our partners. We were a pretty large group, about 2/3 women, and the rotation never seemed to go very smoothly. A bunch of us were just lost at each swap, and I saw one woman with the most unhappy expression on her face as she was partnered with the same man twice. Friendships seemed to be unlikely for some of us, let alone love matches.
One enthusiastic man seemed to by messing with the rotation so he could keep getting paired with me, which wasn’t much better than the round when I found myself partner-less. Thankfully Nancy stepped in and we had a nice chat about our greatest strength and weakness – mine apparently some latent insecurity and the need to please.
I honestly don’t mean to sound ungrateful or bitter about the experience. Jess and Nancy were fantastic and upbeat and clearly talented yoga teachers with a positive intention. The idea of simply finding a friend or being your friend’s wingman, all make perfect sense. So what is my problem?
After many weeks of reflection I have come to realize this: to say that I credit yoga with saving my life is to put it mildly. My practice has opened my once stone like body creating an intimacy with myself that I never thought possible. Aside from awareness and spiritual development and all the other fancy things that I am working on, yoga has for me been more about working through past trauma and strongly held beliefs about myself that have been keeping me bound and unhappy for over 30 years.
So although yoga and dating would seem like a great match, I found it was more akin to a surgeon playing a game of Operation. Trying not to buzz while removing the funny bone and the spare ribs; wondering all the while when she can get back to the real thing.
Speed Dating Yoga is fun and entertaining and yes, can be a great way to meet people. I did see one couple exchanging numbers after class which warmed my slightly jaded and fragile heart. I will say however, that it is probably not for anyone who has a serious practice to go into without thinking about their true intentions beforehand. Otherwise, like me, you’ll get some big lessons that you might not have expected to learn.