“Just think, you could’ve gotten a weird roommate,” I always say to my roommate, Claire.
As far as random roommate selections go, she and I really lucked out. We are equal parts loud and quiet, we have similar senses of humor, we bond over the fact that she and I both have foreign boyfriends (Jose and Jade, who are from Peru and Lebanon respectively, if you were wondering), and we get along really well. There is, however, one pretty big thing (at least in my eyes) that separates us: Claire doesn’t do yoga. This is fine by me. I’m almost glad that she and I aren’t carbon copies of one another because it could certainly get annoying. Although I am glad we have our differences, her lack of interest in yoga all together had posed some interesting problems for me in our first few weeks at Arcadia.
During the first week, I was nervous that people were going to think I was some crazy hippie, constantly doing yoga, meditating, and eating health food (which they do, and I am, but I’m okay with it now). Whenever I was in our dorm room alone, I would slip in a short practice then quickly roll my mat right back up. I didn’t know how to present to my roommate that yoga is a part of my everyday life, so I simply didn’t practice when she was around. I always start my day with 10 sun salutations to get my blood flowing, and luckily, Claire’s first class starts a whole hour before mine, so I was able to do those each day after she left. But much of the rest of my yoga took place outside of our room.
As time passed, I missed doing yoga in the comfort of my own space, rolling out my mat right before bed, or even having the freedom to chant a mantra or two. One evening, however, that all changed (though I still haven’t chanted a mantra). As Claire and I were doing laundry, I was talking about how I was trying to master my handstand, since I already have a really sturdy headstand. She told me she used to be able to do them in gymnastics and cheerleading and was always able to hold them really well, but she hadn’t practiced in a while. Shortly thereafter, we were up.
Standing on opposite walls and laughing, Claire and I began stretching and getting ready to throw some handstands in the Dilworth laundry room. We tried and tried but simply couldn’t hold them for more than a few seconds without doubling over in laughter or chit-chat about yoga and gymnastics. We were scared someone would walk in and see us and we would be forever embarrassed, but no such thing happened, and we continued to attempt our handstands. Crazy, huh? Not quite so crazy anymore. Since that night, not only have I become more comfortable doing my yoga with Claire in the room, but I have also been more open about it not only in our discussions but even in my room decorations. I now have a huge Buddha tapestry hanging over our window and a big “Namaste” sign, which Claire says “adds to the hippie feel of the room,” but in a good way. I often ask Claire to take pictures of me in poses, and I can be found on most nights doing “pincha” in our doorway. I’ve even gotten Claire into buying athletic wear from my favorite yoga clothing line, Fabletics.
So as far as random roommates go, I really lucked out. We buy our applesauce together, I have a live-in yoga photographer, and although I’m the worst influence on her when it comes to online shopping, we enjoy each other’s company. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince her to come to a studio with me anytime soon, but I’m very glad that she’s cool with my lifestyle. She makes yoga with a roommate much easier than I expected it to be. Namaste, Claire.