I’ve lived in Baton Rouge for quite some time now, and I thought that I had this city figured out. I know where to go when I want Sunday brunch. I know the best happy-hour spots and (almost) all of the “try and beat the traffic” shortcuts. I thought retail therapy was the answer to instant relaxation following a long day. However, after attending an evening Candelight Restorative class at Yoga Rouge, I’m rethinking that last one.
My knowledge of yoga was feeble, and that was evident when the instructor told us at the beginning of the class to grab our “blocks” and “bolsters.” I turned and looked at my friend whose puzzled glance mirrored mine. “Just go with it,” she said. These four words would soon become our own mantra for this class. My friend and I followed the lead of our classmates, trying our best to make it seem as though we had done this before. If our neighbor to the left was stretching, then so were we. When the girl across the room grabbed towels for her and her friends, so did I. We were just going with it.
Flameless candles lined the floors, giving the once dark room a relaxing orange glow. Our instructor played music reminiscent of that one time I had a facial at Earthsavers–the soft instrumentals coupled with the soothing voice of our instructor almost instantly rocking me to sleep. We soon forgot that we had no idea what we were doing. “Deep breathe in as you move into kickstand pose,” whispered our instructor. “Feel free to back off if you need to.” We were given the option to sit one out or “back off” if we felt as though one of the poses was out of our comfort zone. Normally, I wouldn’t dare back off in a workout class out of fear that my peers would deem me “weak.” But at Yoga Rouge, there are no gurus. There isn’t any judgment. It’s perfectly fine to just go with it.
A cool towel over your eyes and a quick scalp and neck massage signified that the class was nearing its end. Any stress that I was carrying prior to class was left behind on the floor of the studio. This was better than retail therapy, and unlike most workout classes, I never wanted it to end. “Try not to fall asleep at the wheel,” my friend said with a laugh as we made our way to the parking lot.
On the way home, I ran into heavy post-LSU-baseball traffic near Alex Box. I was so zen that I didn’t even try to go around it.
To learn more about Yoga Rouge, visit yogarouge.com.