Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pissing off the yogis: Guerlain Samsara


Last night I had to go directly from a yoga class at my local YMCA to a dinner with my thesis adviser and my husband, so I dabbed on a few drops of my favorite dinner perfume, Samsara, that love-it-or-hate it child of the eighties.

It was only when I was sweating my way through my seventh sun salutation that I realized that the samsara was radiating off my body in waves because my body temperature had gone up. I was a little embarrassed. Although I love Samsara, many don’t, and the peace-loving essential oils or bust crowd assembled in that room probably was not appreciating my parfum de choix. I was perfectly happy, of course. The sandalwood and vanilla was going nuts, and I was enjoying my little fantasy journey beyond the confines of the utilitarian gym space filled with grumpy yuppies.

Then the irony of the whole thing struck me; here we were, a bunch of overworked white professionals, trying to snag a moment in our days to seek enlightenment, and here I was, bringing everyone down with my inescapable cycle of death and rebirth, my samsara, the very thing from which real yogis are trying to liberate themselves. The sheer ridiculousness of the whole affair struck me, and I almost cracked up, but I saved the moment. I’m sure that would have made me even more popular with this crowd. I mean, two people in the room were actually wearing t-shirts that identified themselves somewhat self-righteously as vegan.

My final moment of near-humiliation came when the yoga instructor, after having walked by my mat, suddenly announced: “I encourage everyone to check out the sign when they leave the room” and my mind reeled in horror. That sign had just been put up, and it asked everyone to bring their own mats, refrain from wearing heavy jewelry or wearing strong perfume, and to come on time. Oh shit. But thanksfully, she continued: “Everyone should start bringing their own mats, and if you need help finding one, just come talk to me after class…” Thankfully, she must not have caught the little greenhouse of jasmine, vanilla bean, tonka, and sandalwood screaming out of my every pore in my corner of the room. Phew. But next time, I’ll wear something a bit more sedate, that won’t prevent nirvana in its very name. LOL!

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