IMA SQUEEZIN IN The more crowded the yoga studio, the more my warmly communitarian, "yay let's all do yoga!" feeling gets crushed into misanthropic, non-OM-y thoughts.

Despite my best intentions, judgy yogi-mind squeezes in as the yogis squeeze into the studio. I become convinced the guy inching his mat closer to mine is going to sweat on me later. I become positive the lady in front of me will eventually kick me in the head in Warrior III.

It's OK, I console myself. Maybe I'll get them back by farting on them in a wide-legged forward bend.

But at a recent class, I was the one squeezing into the studio. I opened the door to a mat-to-mat class. The teacher invited me in and asked two guys in the front row to make room. If I had already been in this class, I would have looked at me and thought this: Seriously? You're going to cram in here? Get here sooner next time. (That wouldn't change the crowding issue, but this is about righteousness, not logic.) And even though you're short, I bet you kick people in the head during Warrior III.

But this time it was different. I was on the other side. And having already paid and already mentally set myself up for an hour of bliss, I wasn't mentally pinched by the crowd. I was grateful.


The teacher was switched on that day, and the students were, too. You could feel the good vibes in the room. The dudes on either side of me were sweating profusely by the time the teacher directed us to squat down, twist our torsos to one side and balance on our hands, both legs smooshing one tricep as our feet left the ground for side crow.

As I leaned into side crow, my nose dipped toward the one dude's mat. I glanced back and could see the other dude's sweaty brow inching toward my mat...and dripping on it.

This guy let me squeeze into the class. On the other side of side crow, the other guy dripped on my mat, too. He'd made room for me, too. So I made a decision. I unfolded my towel and decided not to let a little sweat bother me and kept having an OM-y time.

At the end of the class, I sincerely thanked both of them -- and decided to chill in the future when others squeeze in.

But I might still gripe when I get kicked in the head.

-- Jenn Fields