Way back in days of yore, when I lived in Arlington, Texas, there existed a show on the Oxygen Network called Inhale with Steve Ross. Having yet to contract the adult-onset athleticism that would afflict me in my thirties, I decided that taking up yoga was the perfect non-exercise exercise for me. After all, I had been a gymnast for years: how hard could it be?

Reader, it could be hard. So hard, in fact, that I could barely finish the first episode I tried. But I tried it again. And again.  And eventually, I grew addicted to it. I also grew amazing arm muscles, but that's neither here nor there.

When we moved to Monroe in 2003, we no longer received the Oxygen Network; thus, no more Steve. Now, this was before the days where you could download/watch things on the Internet, so I made my friend Pam -- who had introduced me to Inhale, so this was all her fault anyway -- tape some episodes onto a VHS TAPE and mail it to me. Y'all, I wore that tape out. In fact, I bet I could do every single one of those episodes from memory, right now, with a yoga mat tied behind my back. Unfortunately, the show was unceremoniously cancelled in 2010, which made many people very sad.

There is an entire website devoted to bringing Inhale back, if you're interested.

Anyway, when I made a Life List, one of the items I included was "Attend a yoga class with Steve Ross in LA." And then I kind of forgot about it and never scheduled it, even though I am in LA pretty often. Lucky for me, Beth Pointer, the sweetest person in all the land, remembered seeing it on my life list and scheduled a class for me during the week of my LA Design Camp. Is that not the best thing ever? I believe it is. I love you, Bethers.

And so it was that I found myself in Steve's studio at Maha Yoga one Tuesday morning, wearing Uniqlo pajama pants and an ill-fitting tank top (I forgot to bring anything to wear, because I am not smart). It was so exciting when Steve walked in and hollered, "Stand up!" JUST LIKE ON TV, Y'ALL. 

I need not tell you that the class was amazing; the format was very similar to the show, but longer and with more poses, and a more extensive variety of music (Thrift Shop, holla!). I was nervous that I wouldn't make it since I haven't done yoga in a while, but it all came back to me pretty quickly. Also, Steve smiled at me a bunch of times and said, "Having fun yet?" JUST LIKE ON TV Y'ALL.

After we were all done, I told Steve that I was there because attending his class was on my life list, and he seemed to be tickled about that. Also, we hugged. I know, no one likes a bragger. But I hugged Steve Ross, people. As if that weren't enough, the sweet Maha Yoga folks emailed me a few days after class to make sure I had liked it, and to tell me that Steve really enjoyed having me in class. What? OKAY.

At the very end of class, Steve had us lie on our backs and tranquil music was playing and he kind of instructed us to let in whatever thought came to mind. As I lay there in that Los Angeles yoga studio, the word that kept echoing in my head was, "Grateful. Grateful. Grateful." And I am, for so many things in my life. Thanks, Steve.

AuthorAB Chao
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