My yoga instructor tells me in her breathy voice, “Embrace the silence. Breathe deeply and let go of your worries. Put them all in a red balloon and then let go of that balloon. Watch it float toward the horizon. Silence your inner chatter.”
Me. Eyes closed.
Ok. Put my worries in the balloon. I prefer blue, but, she said red so maybe I’ll make sure it’s a red balloon. Poof! The balloon is red. That was fun. I changed it’s color with my mind. Wait. It’s blue again. Balloon: Red. There. It’s red. I just don’t like that color. It’s not right. I wonder if she had a reason for choosing the color red. Is red the color of silence or something? How about purple? Oh well. I get that we need to release our problems into the atmosphere but does she know it’s not a good idea to release balloons into the atmosphere? I’m not sure why. I just heard that somewhere.
I peek at my neighbor.
Dang. She looks peaceful.
I slowly turn my head to my other neighbor.
Is she snoring? What the? Silence is not peaceful to me. It’s nerve wracking. My inner chatter is made of pins and needles (which both pop silly red balloons). I can’t let it go. Has it been 5 minutes yet!? UGH!
Heavy breathing instructor, “Ok everyone.”
I snap my eyes shut and try to appear restful as if in danger of getting caught awake during naptime.
The breather, “Now slowly open your eyes. Enjoy your day. Namaste.”
I jump up. Eyes open. Thinking that meant class was over, I pick up my mat and head toward the door.
The whole class, amidst all the stretching and yawning, turn to watch me leave. Judging. I could cut the inner chatter with a knife at that point. I see several students go up to kiss the Yogi’s feet or whatever it is you do at the end of a yoga class when I’m usually long gone.
I pretend to have somewhere important to be by bursting out the door and speed-walking just past the glass windows until I’m certain they can’t see me anymore. Shamed by the yoga community grandmas, gay guys, a few college chicks on spring break and one super inflexible, muscle-bound dude who always puts his mat in the back of the room (wonder why?).
I just can’t sit there and dawdle. I can’t relax. It can’t be silent. I envy people who sit can sit there for 5 minutes and be all clear-headed. To me, silence isn’t golden. It’s like a poop brown. Silence is poop. And that’s why I don’t like being around it too much.