2011 Yoga Journal Conference, NYC
Lurching through the doors of the Hyatt, I entered a sea of crazy old ladies seeking their next kundalini high, as well as a decent number of smokin’ hot babes in tight lululemon pants. A few men floated about carefully, like Triassic-era furry mammals looking for eggs to gnaw not wanting to disturb the dominant species. Everyone seemed excited and awake. I was a midnight guy in the Valley of the Morning People.”
He goes on to describe the sub-basement room his workshop takes place in, and the blue masking tape that marked “even rectangular spaces each large enough for a yoga mat and some miscellaneous props.”
I was in the middle of a mind-boggling lecture on Tantra when I remembered Pollack’s line about the tape. And as I looked around me, I realized—I was surrounded.
The blue tape was everywhere, in every lecture room and practice space. Fronts of rooms were taped, backs of rooms, even spaces that it was unlikely anyone would ever practice, such as beside the stage or right near the door. The only places that weren’t taped were the marketplace and the lecture hall (which did, however, look like a powder-blue tea cup).
Clearly, the blue tape is a pragmatic solution to human tendency towards chaos. And I admit it made me feel somehow safer from the throngs of people: I had space to put my shoes, my bag, my notebook, and pen. It gave me some private property, and acted as a psychological barrier in a radically impersonal space full of strangers.
Still, it did have an elementary school feel to it, like it was meant to help us to color more neatly between the lines. And it could not protect us from our thoughts, like, “that’s an unfortunate hair style” or “wish I had started yoga in the womb so I wouldn’t feel so behind now.”
Nor could the ubiquitous blue tape protect us from weird vibes or aromas, like my neighbor’s unbrushed-teeth smell that he blew on me as we did an excruciating IT band release in Bo Forbes’s “Mind-Body Flow: Crafting a Therapeutic Practice.”
Since Pollack had pointed out the tape—and it had lodged in my memory—it did add some levity to my endeavors at the conference. There I was, one of a thousand women and a hundred men flip-flopping around the Hilton Hotel, loaded with yoga mats, blankets, bags, water bottles and swag, like perky Spandex-clad pack-horses. We were searching for yoga knowledge—or just yoga fun—to be delivered in neat packages that appealed to our upper-middle class sensibilities (with a dash of the hippie dippie).
Who were we kidding? Were we for real?
Most of us were earnestly excited, but our questing also seemed a bit silly.
So maybe we do need help coloring between the lines, playing nice, and staying on point. “Hi, that’s MY Prana mat bag, don’t touch it,” or “Keep your eco-friendly, hand-dyed shoes on YOUR side of the blue tape, please.”
Now, now, kiddies.in Culture and Event.