Postcard #17: Partners yoga anxiety

My teacher is on his knees facing away from me, I’m supporting him from behind, holding his heels, my feet resting on the back of his thighs. He inhales deeply and lifts his arms straight into the air and begins to arch his back. He dips back, back, his face is upside down, in front of me, the red color of his tilaka┬áis running down the bridge of his nose and I am trying not to make eye contact his his upside down eyeballs.

Partner work in yoga is supposed to be an opportunity to connect with people in a world where we are anonymous. This is what my teacher says. I think partner work in yoga is just a way to ignite my anxiety. Yesterday, we were only 5 students in class so someone had to partner with the teacher. Guess who he chose? I was manipulated and contorted in front my classmates while my teacher was yanking me from behind with his feet on my thighs. Next, I was laying on my stomach being pulled up and backward while the guy was practically sitting on my ass. The worst part is reciprocating: a clumsy white lady injures yoga teacher during partner work.

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