I never thought I’d have to cite burnt popcorn fumes as an excuse for missing out on yoga, but today was that day.

My "popcorn" file photo. Clearly, I would have rather smelled this all afternoon than burnt-to-a-crisp fake butter nonsense stuff.

Burnt microwave popcorn is a given in an office environment, but today the perpetrator left the bag in for so long that it had to be seconds away from catching on fire. Smoke was billowing out of the microwave, which, unfortunately, is just a few steps from my cubicle. The resulting smell was AWFUL, and making matters worse is that none of the windows on my side of the building open. The smoke just was not dissipating, and my colleagues and I spent the last hour in the office coughing, blowing our noses, and wiping our watery eyes. I usually hang around the office an extra 40 minutes and then proceed to the yoga studio for class, but all I wanted to do this afternoon was get the hell home. No way was I hanging around any longer than I had to! I spent the entire drive home sucking in air from my rolled-down windows, even though I was driving 65 miles per hour on a windy day. The smoke lingered in my throat and nose, and when I got home I knew that yoga was absolutely necessary (a) to calm me down! and (b) to get my lungs to expel that nasty smoky popcorn air and inhale some long, clean, deep fresh breaths.

I normally just plop on my mat and do a “whatever-comes-to-me” practice, but because I had originally planned on going to a formal studio class, I was in the mood for something a little more structured. I tinkered around on iTunes, very close to choosing my old standby, Phillip Urso’s Baptiste power yoga, but then I thought of Thais’ recent post about her amazing Jivamukti class in DC, and I did the unthinkable: I tried something new. I found Sofi Dillof’s podcast collection on iTunes; she’s got a pretty decent stash of Jivamukti podcasts all ready to roll. Lemme tell you, best choice ever!

The 1-hour, 24-minute class I selected started off with a brief chant, Om’ing, some much-needed kapalabhati breath, a short ‘n’ sweet little talk about moving from Me to We, and then one hell of a phenomenal asana practice. Enough vinyasa flows to have me work up a little sweat (impressive for not being in a heated studio), 5 breaths in each posture (the perfect amount, in my opinion), nothing TOO crazy for the hips, and–my favorite–a revolved triangle thrown in near the end of class during the middle of belly-down postures. It totally threw me for a loop, but OMG that twist felt like heaven, and for a sweet minute my sacrum felt as flat and stable as a coffee table. Three wheels, some shoulderstand, and a fish pose later, I was relaxing in a decent-length savasana, almost fell asleep, and then sat in meditation for another 5 minutes. The best part? My confused brain thought it was later than it was and expected to exit the yoga room into a dark hallway…but it was still bright and sunny! Bonus: I didn’t have to drive home!

Conclusion: I will definitely be listening to some more of Sofi Dillof’s classes. The pacing was perfect, everything was easy to understand despite being an audio-only podcast (just gotta know your Sanskrit!), and I loved the blend of chanting, meditation, lecture, pranayama, and invigorating asana. I had energy to cook dinner after my practice! Usually when I come home from hot yoga I am a big hot mess of laziness and resort to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner. Now I just wish I could find a local studio that offers Jivamukti!

P.S. Jivamukti excites me, but so does this. Are any other die-hard So You Think You Can Dance fans out there? Aside from the news and some sporting events, I haven’t watched real TV in months, but that will all end May 26!

SYTYCD Season 7 tour, Atlantic City. (My 30th birthday present from my husband!)