In an effort to get my general ed done at a cheaper cost on my pocket book, I've been taking classes at the community college.
Last semester I took two classes online that weren't too bad to keep up with.
This semester I again signed up for two online classes (which I have since discovered are going to make my stress levels rise to new heights), and then needing a Health Life class, signed up for a yoga class before work.
Let me tell you, it's not easy rolling out of bed (am I the only one who seems, lately, to get their best sleep in the hour right before the alarm goes off? Only to have it ruined by, well, the alarm?) to tromp across a campus in semi-darkness and subzero temps.
And through frozen-over snow.
And when I finally make it to my yoga class, the room isn't much warmer than the air outside.
I've finally resorted to wearing three layers just to keep from shivering.
The instruction to remove your socks is not a welcomed instruction.
I signed up for a beginning yoga class because, to be perfectly honest, it was the only class offered on the campus that's just 10 minutes from where I work, so even though I've been taking yoga classes for 10+ years, I signed up for that beginning class instead of the intermediate class which might have been more my pace.
On the second morning of class I sat on my yoga mat, which lives in my trunk so I don't forget it, making it nice and icy to sit on, and surrounded by twenty-something bleach blondes who were twirling their hair with their finger, twenty-something emo boys in skinny jeans who were checking out the blondes under hooded eyes, and a handful of lanky jocks who just wanted to learn how to stretch better for basketball.
Life is basketball, man.
I noted that a midst all of this, I still wasn't the oldest the person in the class, but we are certainly a minority.
Our teacher came and started talking about how to "be in the moment."
Something I get after doing yoga for so long. Something I appreciate.
But then she proceeded to pour raisins from a giant bag onto a paper plate and began walking around the chilled class instructing us to take two raisins.
The plate was put in front of my face and I resisted the grimace that I wanted to make.
Face of steel.
And I took two, making sure that at least one of them was the smallest speck of a raisin on the plate.
After the raisins had been distributed, my teacher then sat in front of us, cross-legged, and proceeded to tell us to "experience... the raisin."
We stared at the raisins in our hands.
She asked for thoughts. What did we notice? How did we feel? What memories were stirred? Did we think about the time we ate raisins in our oatmeal? Or about our grandma's oatmeal raisin cookies?
I was annoyed that my fingers were getting sticky from rolling raisins around in my hand.
Then, she proceeded to tell us to put one in our mouth, but as we ate it, we needed to be present in the moment, "experience... the raisin."
I threw it in my mouth and instantly felt the taste. The skin broke and it... crunched in a very unnatural way. I tried to focus on it but all I could think about was if any other fruit were to turn brown and shrivel up, we'd throw it away.
I swallowed it as fast as I could.
And then I sat there for a good five minutes, watching my teacher, eyes closed, hands on knees, rolling her raisin around in her mouth. Experiencing it.
When her eyes finally opened, she told us to do it again with our other raisin.
For another solid five minutes I again watched my teacher roll her raisin around in her mouth, eyes closed, hands on knees.
And again, I just wanted to get through it.
Raisins just are not my thing.
We spent an entire hour, before the sun was up, shivering and trying to stay warm, and just... experiencing... the raisin.
Of all the things I could be doing on a dark, cold morning, this was not what I would have chosen to do.
It's enough to drive a girl to get a McDonald's Coke on her way to work.
Now that I can experience.