The owner taught, as did her sister in law. In one of the classes a guy named Marty was adjusting people in poses. He seemed young and carefree and this made him immediately likeable. Setting up the space with an air of relaxation and ease. He was good at adjusting with firm hands that knew how to work with the body and he could deftly contort you in any pose you wanted. He helped me reach behind for my foot in dancer and magically my body and back seemed to open up.
Marty was non descript except for his smile which was expansive and affixed to his face throughout class. Other than he seemed young and happy there wasn’t much more I remember about him. After that day, I didn't see Marty again at the studio. I would only go back once a year so it wasn’t surprising I didn’t run into him. I did think what ever happened to that guy who seemed so happy and gave such good adjustments? One time several years ago I asked the owner, what ever happened to that guy who used to adjust in your old studio and she smiled in reminiscence and said “who Marty?” He opened up a studio in Beaufort. Beaufort seemed too far away from the Island at the time for a class. I never did make the trip out there.
So more than a decade later I was still wondering about that guy with the ability to adjust when I went to class one weekend. Maybe it wasn’t his adjusting I was yearning for; maybe it was the early days of yoga when everything seemed so much simpler. When yoga wasn’t enrolling for a class on mind/body online and there was just a card to check off. When you would buy a class at a time and not be judged by how fantastic your yoga clothes were and more about your authentic-ness and the quality of your breath. Maybe I longed for when yoga was less of a business and more of a practice. Where you would mingle and talk to the teachers and other students after class and you would genuinely get to know one another. When it seemed less about being hustled to sign up for teacher training programs, workshops or series, or new DVD that just came out. More of a connection and less about feeling that you were in by how much money you spent.
A year or two ago I again asked about that guy who adjusted back at the old studio ‘what’s he up to now?’ and she again got a look of reminiscence on her face and said, "Who Marty? He opened a smoothie shop that is donation only and he is around doing Thai Massage." After class that day my husband and I went to the smoothie shop that he owned and it was pretty incredible because it really was donation only. No gimmicks, no minimum payment, no credit cards, pick out anything on the menu and donate what you like. The girl waiting on us had the same big openhearted smile that Marty had back in 2003.
What I didn’t realize then but do now is what I thought was missing (in yoga) can still be found if I look hard enough for it.