I always thought of yoga as a way to reach the ultimate zen, where all your stresses disappear. I decided to become the hard-core Zen-master by attending 5am yoga every morning for the past 2 weeks. I've dragged my ass out of bed to head over to the Ram temple when its still dark outside. There are about 10 middle-aged men and women who are regulars, sitting Indian-style on 2 separate sides of the room, doing deep belly breathing when I arrive. I join in to find everyone quick to point out what I'm doing wrong, even when I'm doing nothing wrong at all. I try to relax, but can't stop wondering why we are still breathing through alternating nostrils for 20 minutes straight. I keep checking the clock, which is on the wall next to countless tacky Hindu posters with cartoon gods, except for 1 poster of Sai Baba, this orange-robed Indian guy with a Jew-fro who looks like a motivational speaker and taunts me all through class. Anyway, the teacher keeps repeating, "Always smiling face...Always smiling face..." and I sort of want to sock him.
Then we come to the pose that is 'only for gents,' where the ladies have to wait by laying down on our stomachs with our elbows on the ground, cupping our heads in our hands like we're 1950's pin-up dolls. I can't take it. So I start to do the 'man pose,' prove to them that women can do anything! They all point at me and yell, "Gents only! Gents only!" I hold the pose as long as possible and then sink into defeat, fuming, mind racing. Perhaps I should get up and just walk out! Or maybe keep coming to class and doing the man pose every time and see what they do. Or maybe after class I should go home and do the damn pose for at least an hour! How dare they tell me what I can or cannot do?? Finally after class I confront this sexist yoga teacher and ask him WHY that pose is only for gents. He replies, "Because it is not good for the ovaries."
The more yoga I do, the more irritable I become. In class the next day, I nonchalantly grab a spot on the men's side of the room. They all stare and start pointing and yelling 'Your side! Your side! Move to YOUR side!' I reply, "NO." They give up and continue stretching. I'm feeling quite smug...but still irritable. Later that day, I'm sitting on a bus with an extremely horn-happy driver. The honking is giving me a splitting headache, not to mention there is a woman standing next to me holding a chicken about 2 cm away from my face and laughing. I start yelling, to no one in particular, "Stop hoking the god damned horn! You are a HUGE fucking bus! People can see you from miles away! They all know you're here! Enough with the horn! Horn, NO. Horn, NO!" This tactic yields zero results.
Back at the office, it is 5pm and a couple coworkers ask me to help design their annual report...due in 1 hour. Typical. I tell them I will only work on it if they sit with me so they can learn what I'm doing. Reluctantly, one agrees. He pretends to pay attention for a while, but then starts trying to rush me, saying he needs to leave at 5:30. We don't finish by then, since the so-called 'annual report' is comprised of 7 separate nonsensical documents, none of which utilize any helpful formatting techniques, such as PARAGRAPHS. My coworker asks if I'll just finish it without him and send it to the Secretary. To which I reply, "NO!" The other guy walks in from probably a power nap and a fat cup of chai and asks if we're finished yet. To which I reply, "NO." I get the hell out of the office, fall fast asleep at 8pm and 12 hours later, I wake up relieved to have slept through morning yoga and finally feeling at peace.