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A Boulderite I know calls the following kind of behavior “overcaffeinated Zen” (O.Z.):

Get up late. Drink coffee. Throw climbing gear and yoga mat in car. Drive to work wondering why everyone else is going so slow, thus slowing your acquisition of more coffee. Work until five minutes past time to leave for yoga class. Go anyway, because you know you’ll go crazy if you don’t. Arrive at yoga class out of breath.

Some call it “overcaffeinated Zen.”

I call it “Tuesday.”

Knowing I’m overdue for an undercaffeinated day of yoga, I escaped to Copper over the weekend for the Mountain Pose Yoga Festival, and a forced day of tranquility.

Pathetic to force it, yes. But while restorative yoga sounds awesome, the overcaffeinated part of O.Z. makes sure I won’t get around to it until after I hike, and climb, and eight other things. So, it never happens.

I try doing yoga several times a week. It’s the only thing that keeps my body from seizing into decrepitude from other activities. And though it’s a necessity I love, I’m always squeezing it in. I’m one of those people who bolts into the yoga studio with that sheepish, guilty look as class is starting.

Sorry, yogis — I know better, but selfishly do it anyway.

Some studios lock the door once class starts. This scares me — it’s like playing chicken with my sanity. Sometimes I make it and score an unwinding session, but sometimes it’s splat, Shakti smooshed under tires, mat rolling away from the scene to find a yogi who can arrive early.

I don’t go to those studios.

On my way to Copper Saturday morning, I found myself zipping along I-70, wishing people with Florida plates would get out of my way… then realized I was being an O.Z. buffoon on the way to a yoga festival, forehead smack.

You’ll get there on time, I told myself. And you’ll have all day, not one class and zip back.

My first class was Yoga for Athletes — two hours of yoga that turned my legs into pudding. I strolled out into the crisp air after, already feeling satisfied with taking a day for yoga in the mountains and not rushing to just one class near home.

Next, I walked my pudding legs to restorative yoga — that thing I never have time for. This is where I realized what it takes to let go of overcaffeinated Zen.

Shannon Paige Schneider, founder of Boulder’s Om Time yoga studio, took the room full of yogis through a handful of restorative poses for more than 90 minutes, including 25 minutes in corpse pose — just laying there, doing absolutely nothing, the antithesis of O.Z.

I melted into the floor. And (can’t believe I’m saying this) it was over way too quickly.

After class, I asked Shannon: “Was that really 25 minutes?”


“It flew by,” I said.

She leaned forward, looked into my eyes and said, “That means you really needed it.”