Or, perhaps more accurately, guilty little pleasures. I have two for today.
One is so so secret, that I can’t even tell it to you. I can’t even allude to it other than to say that it is somewhat troubling to me that our the ashtanga world is perceived as judgemental of personal choices that really aren’t anyone’s business but their own. Is it that judgemental? Is the perception correct? I leave that to you to decide.
The other is somewhat reminiscent of a Sex and the City Episode (Games People Play), where Miranda notices a guy watching her from his window across the street…and lets him…and even finds herself enjoying it. The only difference is that Miranda wasn’t on her rooftop patio practicing Ashtanga, the guy watching her was totally hot, and ultimately, Miranda realizes that said hottie has actually been voyeuring out on the guy who lives beneath her. Oh, and also, there were no construction workers involved in the Miranda scenario either. So, yeah, no, it wasn’t exactly the same thing.
Nevertheless, I did end up practicing on my rooftop today because it was gorgeously sunny and deliciously breezy this morning here in New York City, and I wanted to take Lewis the Bagle for a long walk after the camp bus picked up the kids. By the time I came home, it was borderline too late for me to go down to Shala X, but it was still gorgeously sunny and deliciously breezy, and even moreso up on the roof, which overlooks the East River (thus, cooling breezes). And so, it came to pass that I ventured onto the roof to practice in the open air.
It was about halfway through the Standing poses that I realized that I was being watched by a dude across 79th Street. He was wearing a teal-blue t-shirt, and he looked kind of tall, but I can’t say that he was hot like Miranda’s voyeur because he kept his face hidden. Now I know that might sound a bit creepy. But remember, I live in New York City. I’m used to having intimate discussions in the back seats of cabs as the driver drives on in silence. I’m used to walking around in my skivvies past windows that may or may not be backlit. There’s this sense of anonymity that you can hide behind here. And so, I just kept practicing, and it didn’t bother me a bit that I had an audience. In fact…and here’s that dirty little secret thing: I kinda liked it.
Look, anyone who knows me (and even those out there who don’t can probably guess), I actually enjoy performing. I love the attention. It inspires me.
Was it yoga? Lord knows. Maybe, maybe not. And I don’t feel like entertaining that debate here, although you are welcome to do so in the comments section. I know that I felt focused on my breath, my bandhas my driste, to the point where at some point in the middle of my seated postures, I realized that he was gone, although I didn’t see him leave.
And I felt a bit deflated. It was at this point that my mind did wander off a bit to that scene in Truth or Darewhere Warren Beatty says to Madonna, who has rejected the notion of privacy while her doctor tends to her sore throat and instead invites the doctor, his tongue depressor and her throat into the camera’s eye, something to the effect that: why even bother to live if no one is watching? OK, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration for me, but I must say that when I towards the end of my practice, I heard a male voice call out from above me, I perked up a bit.
It wasn’t the dude in the teal-blue t-shirt though. It was a man working on the water tower above the building NEXT to that dude’s building. He and his “colleagues” waved to me. I waved back and finished my practice. When I rolled up my mat and woke up Lewis (who had accompanied me for my practice, as I have always fantasized that any good dog would), I looked up toward the teal-blue t-shirt dude’s window.
And there he was. He waved. I waved.
Guilty little pleasure.
Later I taught at Yoga Sutra and walked all the way home. All in all, quite the yummy day.