Last night, the woman practicing beside me at yoga asked how long it took before I could do a headstand. A bit less than a year, I told her. She asked if I'd done the whole year here, and I said I had. I told her that the trick was core control, and it wasn't too difficult, but headstands still actually terrify me (which is why I am determined to continue doing them). It requires courage and confidence to balance upside down, especially because the perfect position, which feels weightless and liberating, is just a tick mark or two from falling - a tired metaphor. I suggested she begin by practicing near a wall.
I swiveled to return my mat (I don't bring my own when I leave work for yoga; my editors don't need to know exactly why I come and go when I do), and I saw that the teacher, who is petite and was wearing all-black and can be silent, overheard the exchange as she tidied. I felt like I explained math homework shortcuts to my babysitting girls before realizing a parent was listening. She is more about legs and muscle wrapping than core, which seems remiss to me, but what do rookies know?
Our eyes connected. "Don't think I haven't noticed that you've been stealing my color scheme lately," I deadpanned. My urban monochrome. She laughed, the silence shell shattered and vanished and I turned away. Almost a year is long enough to learn how to manage people.
I'm starting to fear that I will be trapped here forever.