Yoga mats

Tonight was supposed to be yoga night, that special night where I find my weekly hour of peace amid a sea of unorthodox bodily contortions and overproduced, vaguely Easterny-sounding music. Not so this week, not last week, not even the week before.

In fact, I have only practiced yoga approximately five times in my life — but this is four more than what’s necessary to perceive the theoretical importance of establishing a yoga night, of trading in one’s clothes for ill-fitting sacks, of refusing all food except for rolled oats, of refusing all drink except for mushroom-based teas. So how could I miss out on yoga night yet again?

While driving to the radical bookstore where yoga is held, I remembered that I didn’t actually own a mat, the one material possession that is requisite for respectably practicing yoga. And so with fifteen minutes to spare, I stopped by every store that could be imagined to carry a sheet of plastic or foam or latex or some such material, regardless of whether it was intended to be used as a yoga mat.

I went to the drugstore — no mats. I went to the sporting goods store — no mats. I even went to the Whole Foods Market down the street. They sell Nag Champa incense, toothpaste made of kelp, and CDs of vaguely Easterny-sounding music. They do not sell yoga mats.1

After failing to find a suitable mat for nearly an hour, I decided to give up. On the way back to my apartment, I thought I would recalibrate my chakras by purchasing one thin-crusted pizza and as many Ferrero Rocher chocolates as I could find. After collecting my consolatory treats, I would come face to face with a reasonably priced yoga mat on an endcap that featured closeout football memorabilia and Mason jars.

Up one yoga mat, and dispelled of my yoga-related prejudices, I can only conclude that preparing for yoga has been as life-affirming as the practice of yoga itself, and I’m reconsidering whether all those bodily contortions are even necessary.

  1. They had one model of yoga mat in stock which was priced at over $40. I suspect it is for ornamental use.