I am at a yoga center that I won’t name, because I really don’t want to disparage it. I came here for one overnight to decompress after running three 8-week writing workshops with 30 students, and then an intensive weekend workshop with 11 students. I’ve been basically processing and carrying around 41 people’s stories, some of them INTENSE - child abuse, sexual abuse, near-death experiences… I love this work. It is incredibly gratifying, but it is also ALOT, and it requires release valves. Now and then I need to chill the fuck out in a quiet, serene environment, so I have come here.
I secretly hate yoga, and I usually do only a little or none of it when I come here. I sit by the lake, I go for walks, I relax in the hot tub, I eat meals I don’t have to even think about shopping for, or cooking. I get away from my land line, my bills, my work, the lawn that needs mowing, my lovely but talkative neighbors.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for yoga, I have been coming to this place since 1994, when it was completely different - before the allegedly celibate guru got caught shtupping devotees. Just about every time, the place has been reliably quiet, a place to clear my brain.
But this time, my first time back in about three years, this place is so noisy! It’s become super popular, so it is just teeming with people. There used to be an emphasis on talking softly, if at all. Apparently not anymore. It seems as if on the way to becoming a major new age learning center, it stopped being a sanctuary.
After I arrived, I headed straight for the lake…and found some class of about 50 people out on the front lawn, doing a high-volume vocal exercise all at once. At the waterfront, these two women were chattering so loudly, no matter where I moved my chaise, I couldn’t not hear their voices. Just non-stop, inane chattering.
Dinner was a fucking cacophony, and now I’m outside on the terrace trying to Zen out and listen to the birds. But there is the most annoying woman - wearing a staff pin! - SINGING LOUDLY BACK TO THE BIRDS. “What’s that Disney song they sing to the birds?” she asks her friends. And then she just launches into it. She’s on my right. There’s a loud-talker to my left discussing all the medical issues on her right side, and how a psychic once told her, long before the medical issues, “You hold everything on the right side of your body.”
Granted, I was already relatively homicidal when I got here at 3:30. But I am not having a good time. You think it might be too much to ask all, I don’t know, 300-or-so guests to kindly leave so I can have a few hours of peace? Or, short of that, to SHUT THE FUCK UP? Yeah, probably not. Oh, well. Namaste? (Namaste yourself.)
Update: Up all night listening to dueling snorers in my allegedly non-snorer dorm. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh.