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Essay: Espresso

Before our yoga class begins, another student comes up to me and whispers, “I just had a cup of hot chocolate with a shot of espresso!”  I don’t know Marcia well, but I give her a hug and we both giggle like school girls, unrolling our mats with a flourish of defiance.

Our yoga teacher routinely warns against stimulants like coffee and chocolate—which are bad for our bodies and especially bad for balancing poses.

So I glance across the room at Marcia while she stands on one foot like a tree, and I wonder if she’s wobbling inside or smiling like me.  And I think how the need to break the rules (even just a little) is an enduring human impulse.

I can remember sneaking cookies up to my room as a kid, just to see if my mother was right that they’d spoil my dinner.  They never did.

I want to believe this is a healthy thing, not the cookies so much as the rebellion.  Maybe I need to test the rules to see if they’re valid for me.  And what I’ve found is I’m more likely to lose my balance from mental distress than dietary mischief.

It’s also true that life is more than rules.  Sometimes it’s hot chocolate with espresso.