I’ve prepared even more than usual for this week with a special mix tape I created to go along with each stop on the road trip through the class. I have poetry to read at certain intervals, I’m wearing some of my favorite yoga clothes, and I even shaved my legs for no particular reason. I arrive early, light the candles, turn on the fountain, start the music. I sit in the center of my mat and smile. They will be coming soon, and since last week, I heard—much to my surprise—that both the flexi-flyer and chair lady from last week told another teacher how much they loved my class. If that's true, how can I go wrong, I ask myself.
It’s five minutes till class starts. Then it’s time. Then it’s past time. I get up, go to the door and look out at the wind-swept, silent and bare parking lot. I go back to my mat. I get up again and check.
Every time I go to the front windows, I’m swept back to my college days, looking out the living room window for hours for various dates who never showed up. I’m not being stood up, I tell myself. This is a class, not a potential romance.
By fifteen minutes into the class, the obvious is clear to me: no one is coming.
There are many roads to ruin I could travel with this information, wondering if it’s me or some twisted karmic fortune cookie from the gods telling me not to teach yoga. But my mind, thankfully, skips to the chase: this is a new center, I’m a new teacher, and things like this as bound to happen, nothing personal, just the way of the unpredictable world. Besides, it’s not like my students are out with another yoga teacher behind my back (or are they?).
So I turn up the music and start warming up, first with some standing stretches, and then, without thinking about it, a little dancing on my mat. I turn up the music louder—a fast-paced Celtic song that I always loved—and before I know it, I’m off the mat and dancing like a fool. I jump, run, turn fast, sway my hips and shake my shoulders. I’ve got this wide expanse of beautiful bamboo floor unfolding around me, and a whole lot of time.
Right in the middle of the next faux-pirouette, I spy a woman standing in the door frame. I scream, freeze, make myself smile, and greet her. Turns out she’s not late for my class but almost a day early for another class.