Yoga is a time to turn your gaze inward and reflect. That is, unless the yogi next to you is someone famous. Like Martha Stewart-famous. Like Martha Stewart.
I’m no stargazer. When I see a celebrity, I say to myself, “Self, that’s so-and-so. Don’t stare.” In fact, I look the other way and try to un-see the person. Except once, when I saw Jerry Seinfeld eating a burger a few tables away, and I texted my lunch companion across the table. “Dnt look, jri snfeld sttng bhnd u!”
But on a recent weekend morning at yoga, I found myself sitting cross-legged just a few feet away from Martha. My heart chakra started racing. Poor press and prison aside, I’m a fan of the brand she created three decades ago. I began my practice and regulated my breathing, but I struggled to gain focus. My body followed the sequence, but my mind was cut loose, attempting to communicate with Martha telepathically.
During Virasana–Hero Pose, “Martha, I know that color coordination is important to you (your Superneutral Bathroom Palette is to die for!)…so here’s a tip: In the future, if you want to make sure that all five of your yoga props match, pick an orange mat, orange blocks and an orange blanket. This is because the bolsters and straps only come in orange. See those yogis across from us with blue mats, pink blocks and orange bolsters? They will never be able to meditate in polychrome.”
Then the Utkatasana–Awkward Chair Pose, “Do you remember me, Martha? I temped at Martha Stewart Living back in 1996, just after college. I couldn’t imagine my liberal arts degree going towards a better effort. Then one day, while I was working reception during my lunch hour, you called and were like, ‘It’s Martha, I need to speak with fill in the blank.’ Still confused by the elaborate switchboard, I panicked, slapped some buttons, and accidentally disconnected you. (Sorry, Marth).But you called right back and said, ‘It’s Martha again,’ in a voice that was less like your Velvet Chocolate Pudding and more like your Crackly Two-Tone Bark. I was just happy I got to talk to you twice!”
Next came Viparita Karani–Legs Up the Wall Pose, “Hey Martha, I’m looking to repaint our living and dining rooms, and it so happens I have some paint samples in my bag. If you’re not rushing out after class to make a few hundred caramelized onion tartlets or something, would you mind giving me your opinion?”
The Vrksasana–Tree Pose, “I just have to share something fortuitous with you that I think you will appreciate as much as I do. I got married three years ago, and you’ll be thrilled to know that I designed and crafted the invitations, decorations and flowers myself. And so–OMG, you won’t believe this—I picked a filler flower for my bouquet named trachelium. I chose it for its vibrant green color and broccoli-like texture (BTW, I love your Composed Salad with Broccoli, Romaine, Chickpeas and Walnuts—so fresh!) and for how it offset the hot pink peonies that matched my pumps. Then—get this—on the day before the wedding, I noticed how the flower was spelled: Trachelium…it has my name in it!! What are the chances? Well, you garden, you would know.”
Namaste, Martha. This class was an om come true. [/expand]