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Don't Touch My Thong, Please!

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(Photo Courtesy Christine Martitz)

When it comes to doing laundry there are many things to be mindful of. You have to follow the care-tag, separate colors, set the proper temperature, use the right amount of detergent, and in NYC one other important thing maybe the most important:

You basically have to glue yourself to the machine so no one will even touch your laundry. The one thing that was not on the care-tag and I wasn't prepared for is how to survive doing your wash in an apartment building in New York City.

I had just returned from teaching yoga at a health and wellness fair in Switzerland where people tend to be not aggressive at all while interacting with others. However, this is not always easy in New York City, especially in laundry rooms on the Upper West Side. I realized painfully that in order to do laundry in New York City one must always do yoga first so as not to come unhinged at an obnoxiously laundry-doer.

When I was visiting a friend who I had not seen in a while on West 90th Street, she happened to be in the middle of doing her laundry in the basement of her building. I ended up helping her waiting right in front of the machine for the wash cycle which was about to end when a woman with her load approached the machine, poised to remove the clothes I had in there.

"Excuse me, do you mind not touching my laundry since I am standing right here and need to use the machine again?" I asked.

"No you are not" she angrily exclaimed as she pushed me aside and proceeded to remove the contents of my machine as she inserted hers.

"Oh, do you do ironing and folding as well?" I calmly asked.

In Yoga we never lose our self-control; nothing can affect our calm. I was there to fight tough stains -- not the Condo President's wife.

Two minutes later my friend Sarah shows up as I have the woman tied up with my yoga-pants to the ironing board with her hands behind her back and am about to knock some sense into her with my family size, 126 load detergent fighting stains and prune faces. Only kidding, as I said we don't loose our cool.

I always focus on my breath. I take a deep breath in all the way into my lower abdomen, and a long breath out. It helps me to stay calm and as a result I am able to think more clearly and to act more rational. In order to keep my inner peace, I also meditate regularly for a minimum of ten minutes in the morning -- ideally for half an hour. To me it is not worth getting all bent out of shape just over some laundry. I won't have to worry about this for a while since I'll be teaching yoga at a beach resort in Brazil, where everybody just wears dental floss.

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(Photo Courtesy Christine Martitz)