2009-10-18: Yoga Is Relaxing?

Starring: Alexandra and Sydney


Date: October 18, 2009


Alexandra and Sydney attend a yoga class, but are kicked out for being noisy. Afterwards the two go for coffee and Alex gets a pep talk.

"Yoga is Relaxing?"

A Yoga Studio in NYC

The yoga studio is typical of any in New York. Large windows allow natural light into the room. A cherry wooden floor is polished and well maintained. Various mats and yoga props line the front wall where the instructor sits on her floral patterned mat, poised to take action. Calming ocean sounds fill the otherwise silent room, and a fair number of students have already lined the studio early to class. Sydney is one such student.

Decked out in yoga capris, a tank top, and completely barefoot, Sydney sits on her thick green yoga mat, stretching in an effort to loosen up before the actual class begins. Hopped up on coffee, she's jittery and anxious to start. It's been awhile since she's been, but she knows it helps her calm herself and remember to breathe through her own emotions. Several people have tried to place their mats beside hers, but every time they begin to set up, she's explained-rather emphatically with much caffeine-induced excitement-that she's saving it.

It's practically time for the yoga session to begin before the door to the studio opens with a gust of wind in from the outside and the tiny brunette makes her way in. Like Sydney, she's dressed in yoga capris, totall black from head to…well, calf. Coming in from outside, she's got on a sky blue fleece jacket, and newish-looking running shoes and ankle socks. A gym bag is slung over her shoulder, a green yoga mat sticking out of the zipper pointing frontwards so nobody can steal the thing!

Alex stands inside the door of the studio a moment, letting her eyes adjust and brushing some stray strands of hair out of her face. Finally, she spots Sydney when she stands up from stretching, and gives her a little wave before hurrying over. "Sorry I'm late" she says, setting her mat down next to Sydney, looking around a little at all the stink eyes that people are giving her. "Had a little bit of trouble finding the place" she declares, sliding her yoga mat out of her bag, laying it on the floor, and scampering off to the benches along the sides to slide out of her jacket and sneakers.

A smile and wave are extended to her friend as Alex enters her view. "It's okay! No one cares!" Well, Sydney doesn't, anyways. Forget about those other people who feel differently. "I'm so glad you made it!" her voice is a whisper, but an excited whisper at that. The instructor flashes a slight glare towards the pair, but says nothing. "Gosh, I love your mat! Green really is a soothing colour, isn't it?"

"I know, right? Guess brown isn't available in a mat, for obvious reasons" she says with a little snicker as she finally gets prepped enough to go back to her mat. With her shoes off, Syd's able to see just how tiny she is; a teeny 5'3"! On her mat, she begins a few stretching exercises, particularly her legs and arms, giving her torso a little flexing, twisting stretch, figuring the yoga itself will help stretch her out more. The big gauze pad on her arm has since been downgraded to a little, regular bandage, but is still coated in first-aid ointment.

Wow! Alex really is short! But Sydney keeps her surprise to herself and just continues to stretch. "Yeah, I don't think it would sell very well, even though brown really is an awesome colour," Sydney observes as she stretches out her neck slowly. "Seriously, it goes with like everything." She glances at Alex's arm and notes, "That's healing well," before the instructor gives a prompt 'SHH!' to the entire class (although it's mostly toward Alex and Sydney).

The instructor paces the room and chimes, "Alright, we will start with a simple first order sun salutation series." The majority of the room begins reaching into the sky, breath matching action, but not Sydney. She turns to Alex, and whispers, "Do you know what she's talking about?"

Alex looks around, watching the group in the studio, almost completely female (but a man or two in the class as well), stretching up toward the ceiling, doing some strange interlocking finger thing, then turning their palms this way or that. "Sheesh…looks like they're worshipping the sun rather than just saluting it" she says with a little smirk. She gets on her mat, wanting to try the yoga at least, but the best she can manage is some comical spoof of what they're doing, maybe a little TOO comical!

Sydney breathes as she attempts to copy her classmates, but then she turns to Alex and finds herself trying to suppress a giggle. She breathes again and tries to concentrate, but this is completely interrupted as she glances at Alex once again, this time the fit of giggles emitted from her mouth aren't suppressed, and the blonde loses her balance, stumbling forward ever so slightly; however, this stumble is accentuated by the giggles that continue to be emitted from her mouth. Strangely, several others in the room begin to stifle laughs. The instructor looks less than impressed.

The ones laughing are mostly in the vicinity of Sydney, but maybe nobody is giggling more than Alex, who's the closest. She's standing on the middle of her mat, reaching toward the sun, palms up. But, maybe uncharacteristically for the usually serious engineer, she snaps her head back like a dancer, making her hair whip and fly back, before "AAAAH"ing quite loudly toward the ceiling. Of course, it doesn't help that she sticks her butt out, one leg stretched out behind her to its fullest, the other in front of her with pointed toes and all, like something out of Flashdance! Once she finishes, she grins and chuckles. "Now that's some yoga!" she jokes at Sydney.

After several deep, calming breaths, Sydney manages to regain her composure and stands up tall again, reaching up towards the sun. "I think it's better that way!" she agrees with Alex as she continues to beam ear-to-ear. The classmates around Sydney seem particularly happy at this moment. "Besides, if it's not fun, it's not worth doing, is it?" The instructor turns to the pair again, "SHHHH!" The blonde's cheeks redden slightly as do some of the individuals around her. She glances about and furrows her eyebrows, that's … odd.

Alex is one of those around her who's blushing, feeling like a schoolchild admonished by teacher for doing something silly. "Sorry…" she mumbles out. "Just…you might want to teach us what the 18th degree blackbelt sun greeting is before asking us to do it…" she says under her breath, probably only loud enough for Sydney and a few of the others around her to hear.

"No kidding," Sydney scoffs at Alex's comments. She whispers back, "Besides, I don't see why silence is so… golden." With another deep breath she reaches up to the sky.

The instructor looks rather annoyed at the group around Sydney, but doesn't say anything other than pace about and tell them what pose they should try next, "Alright, everyone reach to the ground and enter plank position. We are starting our vinyasa."

Sydney arches an eyebrow at Alex before asking, "Is she speaking English?"
"Hmmm, I don't think she is…" Alex says. "Watch this" she says, smirking a little, and nudging Alex in the shoulder. "(Excuse me, do you have any idea that the words coming out of your mouth make about as much sense as someone shitting out their ear?)" she asks the instructor, in French. She then leans over the Sydney to tell her just what she said to the woman in the other language. Anyone else in the room who speaks French would, of course, be privy to what she just said as well.

A couple of random individuals snicker at the words, and Sydney joins in after she's told the translation. The instructor stares at Alex for several moments, narrowing her eyes. Her lips twitch. Her overall, too-cool-can't-upset-me exterior has faded away. Finally, she just blinks, "Ah-out." She points to the door. "And take your giggly friend with you."

Sydney furrows her eyebrows and turns to face the instructor. Her frustration surmounting. "You are a terrible teacher. We don't know what you're talking about!"

"Fine…just tell us who to write too for a refund!" Alex calls out, purposely stomping and thumping on the wooden floor, loosely rolled mat under her arm, as she beelines for her things. She's so tiny, but… can people feel her steps? It's like she weighs a heck of a lot more than she actually does as she storms off. She slides on her socks and shoes as quickly as possible, stuffing her mat into her bag, and beelining for the door with her jacket half on. Before she opens the door to head out into the autumn day, she makes sure Sydney is all packed up too, not wanting to leave her alone.

Sydney follows Alex's lead and storms out after packing all of her things, putting on her shoes, and pulling a large oversized NYU sweatshirt. After stepping outside she rolls her eyes and removes the elastic from her hair. "Can you believe her?! Seriously! I thought yoga was supposed to make people patient or something?!" She frowns and then just shakes her head. "Seriously Alex, I thought it would be good. Totally my fault." She frowns as she runs her fingers through her hair, trying to detangle is from her haphazard elastic removal.

"Well, who says that wasn't fun? I had fun. Don't know about you…" she trails off, winking and shoving Sydney a bit. "Man, do you see how mad we made her? Look!" She points to the broad windows at the front of the studio, where the woman seems to be huffing her way through the rest of her yoga routine. The class inside looks rather…bored, a little frustrated as the instructor seems to be hurrying them through, snapping through the positions, definitely looking frazzled!

Giggles escape Sydney's lips, "Yeah! At least we disturbed her routine!" She tilts her head and smiles, "Maybe we're team Chaos—everything we touch turns to chaos?" She offers a sly smile, "I was really in a a yoga-kind-of-headspace anyways! Too much coffee this morning, but it was sooo good." She smirks an adds, "Honestly, I thought yoga would be good for me. Seriously, total mood swings lately." Or always. Whatever. "But from the looks of things, it's not exactly a mood regulator," she points back towards the studio and instructor.

"Yeah…I guess the coffee isn't really compatible with the yoga. Believe me, I know what it's like to be over-caffeinated when you're trying to be serious, meetings at work and all." For the moment, she's just standing out on the street with Sydney, both in yoga clothes, jackets, with their yoga gear and all. "Soooo….what now then? Since that went so swimmingly, I mean…."

"Well…" Sydney looks up and down the block. "It's ridiculous to call this get-together a day when yoga was such a failure." And then she sees it, a private coffee house: The Green Bean. "There's always more coffee!" she grins. "I bet they serve sandwiches and soup or something," she pads towards the cafe.

"Hey…sounds like a plan!" she calls out. She sets out next to Sydney down the street in her comfortable sneakers and yoga clothes. If nothing else, she's comfortable and warm, and the idea of coffee right now does sound like a pretty good one!

Sydney leads the way into the coffee house, holding the door open for Alex. It's a small cosy coffee house with round tables lining the room. Several large cushioned chairs sit against a back wall. The blonde walks to the front and orders, "Helloo! I'll have a-" quickly she scans the menu "-large non-fat pumpkin spice latte!"

Alex follows into the shop and right up to the counter, enjoying the warmth and coziness of the shop. When it comes to her to order, she looks at the menu, eyes sort of popping out of her head. "Sheesh, don't you just have black coffee in a cup?" she jokes. Before she officially orders, she looks at Syd, then back at the barista. "I guess…just give me the same thing she got. Sounds pretty good!"

The barista motions for the two women to have a seat as he will bring out their drinks to them. Automatically Sydney pads to the comfy chairs in the back of the room. Partially because they're oversized and comfortable-looking, but also because they're at the back of the room. As she settles into her seat, she studies her friend, "The police didn't question you after the bar thing, did you? That guy was such an ass. No one's contacted me…" Not yet, anyways.

"Well, no. But I've sort of made myself scarce, really. With work and all…." She just settles into one of those huge chairs, it being so oversized that she can easily slide off her sneakers and haul her legs up under her butt like she does in her big chair at home. "There was one strange thing that happened though, the other day in Battery Park. It wasn't the cops though, and he was pretty nice about it. Strange, but nice."

Quizzically, Sydney furrows her eyebrows, curiosity has taken over, "At least it wasn't the cops. What happened?" She quiets as the barista comes and places the ladies' drinks on the table. "Thank you," Syd smiles as the barista walks away. "I know you can handle yourself. Obviously." She smirks. "But um. He was nice?"

"Yeah…he was down near the water in Battery Park. I went down after work to look at the Statue of Liberty at sunset, also figuring that a new park would be nice. Of course, as I got near him, he starting to do…the same things I can do. He gave me a warning. Said the government is rounding up folks like me as terrorists. Said I should watch what I do with…the thing I do." As she speaks, she looks around the coffee shop suspiciously, looking at all the other patrons, keeping her voice low.

"Woah!" Sydney spouts all too loudly, drawing the attention of several onlookers. She flushes slightly and lowers her voice to a whisper, so only Alex can hear, "You found someone like you?! Did he do the whole earth thing? Was he good at it?" The blonde has been reading about evolved humans lately, it should come as no shock that she's fascinated. "That is so… awesome! You need the support." She nods at this and then furrows her eyebrows, "How can the government get away with that?! Why don't we know about it?"

"Well…they can get away with it because they are the government. That's exactly the reason." She's thinking back to her conversation with Peter the other day. "And in terms of the the uh…thing…it wasn't much. He seemed a little tweaked over the whole government thing, and so he was just…making tremors and stuff."

"What happened to democracy? To checks and balances? To the freedoms that make this country worth living in?" the disgust in Sydney's voice is more than evident. "Huh. So he was mad so it like showed up in his ability?" She tilts her head as she sips at her coffee, "Is that what happens to you?"

"Well…sometimes, yeah. If I get really angry I guess. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it just happens when I'm stressed…." She doesn't seem eager to elaborate on that subject too much more. "Bottom line is that he said to be careful with how I use my ability from now on, so I don't get their attention. And he gave me his phone number…asked me if I wanted to help others like me."

"So no more dealing with muggers alone at night," Sydney notes as she takes another sip of her coffee. "I swear I haven't said anything," she says rather simply "the police still think it was either the muggers or the crazy guy in the superhero get-up. That's my story and I'm sticking to it." She bites her bottom lip and tilts her head, "Will you try to help? What's to be done, exactly?"

"I don't really know. He didn't go into much detail. I guess it means helping out the ones that the government's already captured for being 'terrorists,' or so I'd guess" Alex replies. "I don't know if I'm going to try and help out or not. What help could I be, especially if there's already that guy who can do what I do…or at least, a good approximation of it? I've got my own life to worry about!" she sighs out, sipping at the hot coffee, looking around the shop, and lost in her own thoughts rather than interested in the conversation.

"You have such an incredible gift though," Sydney notes as she sips at her coffee again. "Another friend of mine told me it's hard for all of you. Living unusual lives amidst the normals of the world, but I know you have an incredible gift, even if it feels like a curse sometimes." She leans back in her seat and closes her eyes, rubbing her temples. "And maybe, maybe you could be what they need. It's like on Mulan—did you ever watch that movie? Well the emperor guy said it takes one single grain of rice to tip the scales. You could be the single grain!"

Alexandra doesn't seem as optimistic as Sydney though. She nods her agreement, since sure, she's seen the movie and knows what Sydney is talking about, but that doesn't mean she's prepared to turn her life upside down and help Peter out with his…thing, whatever it is he's planning. "Sure…I know what you're saying. I just don't know if I'm prepared for all that. I mean, I can barely do what you saw me do. Not like it helped me or anything…" she says, rubbing the bandage on her arm.

"The muggers had guns and there were three of them, a couple of crazies in superhero outfits, and one overemotional therapist. Too many circumstances." Sydney sips at her coffee, "I bet you just need training. And like, an opportunity to train, you know? I meant, don't boxers and fighters and stuff do that?" And then she adds, "Maybe you're not ready for this task, but I'm sure you're meant to do something important with your ability."

"Maybe so…but then, I don't want to push things too far, knowing that the government is out there looking for folks like me. Even what happened the other week might put me on too many radar screens." Alex is still sipping at the coffee, but pretty slowly, looking worried now. "I just don't know what I want to do with all that right now. I have work to think about as well."

"I suppose you're right. You're still new-ish here and settling, uprooting everything could be… problematic." Sydney shrugs. "I know I'm a therapist and I'm not supposed to believe in destiny, but I do." Her eyes sparkle ever so slightly, "And I don't understand why you would get such an incredible gift without some kind of purpose. And I know it's crazy-talk and I shouldn't think that, but I do." She shrugs.

Alex just nods. "I…I get what you're saying. I suppose you're right." Mostly, she just sits there, sipping her coffee and starting out into space inside the shop. Maybe Pete will get a call in the next few days, courtesy of Sydney's little peptalk. Maybe that really is why Alex is here…who's to say. She has a gift, and maybe it's time she starts to use it for good…

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