The rush of cool air leaves me as I open the door and tiptoe across the golden wood grained floor to the spot at the back of the studio. I quietly drop my keys and water bottle to the floor and slowly unroll my mat. I scan the room and find myself gazing at you. Your chestnut hair is pulled back in a pony with a headband, rose pink sports bra crisply criss crosses your back, and your white Lulus hug your curves and drifts mid calf. Your eyes are closed, hands folded on your lap, legs folded under. The room smells warm.

The instructor walks in and takes our tokens. She rings her singing bowl and asks us to find a word for our practice. Today, I am love. I am Love. I am Love. I repeat the mantra in my head three more times. In the mirror, I see your lips part as you repeat your mantra. Who are you today?

Standing in Tadasana, I watch as your skin begins to glisten as we lift, exhale, and forward fold. The sweat trickles down my sternum, pausing for a moment in my clavicle only to continue its meandering journey down my neck. Interrupting its delicious travel, I stand up straight and we start to shift our weight onto our left feet and raise our right legs in unison. We nestle them high on our left thighs and I can’t help but notice a small falter, a slight quiver, an enjoyment of sensations of balance, of vulnerability, of exploring the reality of our bodies.

Vrksasana. Set your intention. Get determined. 

I unfold my arms and stretch them overhead. I breathe into my pose and feel my hips opening and my muscles stretching in the heat. I am determined to feel my roots and my strong trunk only to steal a glance your way and witness you in full bloom. You are open and resolute, delicately falling out of your pose only to get back into it. The beads of sweat are now roving down your back and I wish I could trace them, peel off your outer layers and enjoy the warm petals underneath. You are magnificent.

Now, get playful.

I close my eyes and imagine how it would feel to focus on your eyes. Give me two solid minutes staring into your eyes before I’m allowed to look elsewhere. Do you even know what they’d tell me? Would you let me look further and drink you in instead of these quick sips I’m forced to swallow? Would you let me retrace the paths already clearly outlined by our movements?

We continue to move though sometimes I feel that the room is spinning and we are standing still. Our bodies are dripping with the magic of our dance, my heart is pulsing for more reasons than one. Your transparent Lulus are not lost on me as we lunge backwards.

Anjaneyasana. Crescent Moon Pose.

The humid air is so hot. Hotter than I remember.

Remember, your practice starts as soon as you step off your mat.

Your practice is beautiful.