I’m on the road right now. So I’m practising the yoga of travelling. The yoga of patience and allowing events to unfold without the ability to change much of what happens. I am a passive player in this and the experience of recognising that and just flowing along is quite interesting. Could I maintain this attitude more in normal life?
For a start this is my first time travelling on an aeroplane as officially vegetarian. I’m not actually, but who would eat fish on a plane? So it’s my first experience of being served first with the other food-weirdos and of having to put up with whatever I’m given whether I like it or not (or of resorting to raiding the enormous snack-bag I brought with us!). Next time I’ll see if there’s a dietary option of soya-free vegetarian since soya really doesn’t agree with me, but in any case it was interesting hearing Hubby’s take on eating the faux-chicken we were given and whether he enjoyed it or not. I have mixed feelings about choosing not to eat meat but then eating something that looks and tastes like chicken — why would you do that?
I’ve also lost self-consciousness about yoga asana to the extent that I did some stretches in the airport before flights. So what if there are weird looks, my hips and shoulders needed this before long haul. And I’m currently writing this seated on the floor at the gate waiting on some maintenance work before we can board the plane ignoring (mostly) the strange looks I’m getting from the people on the rows of seat behind me; they keep coming up and standing nearby and looking down at me. Is it really so weird to sit on the floor?
Anyway I’m sure I found some of the behaviours I observed more fascinating that mine could have been to anyone watching. Trying (and failing!) not to be judgemental, I was intrigued by the amount of arguing I witnessed within families, how few people could sit for more than a few minutes without playing on a gadget, or in fact how few people could sit for more than a few minutes full stop. So much irritation and impatience. Hubby and I can of course have our moments, but mostly when we’re travelling we are together in adversity and try to look out for each other with special care.
So really the yoga of travelling is more about simple patience than any airport asana practice. It’s the practice of making room for others who need it more, of not losing one’s temper with the innocent desk staff when something else goes wrong with our travel plans (so far 36 hours from home and I’m still a good 8 hours away from arriving where I should have got to yesterday), of accepting that I have no control over events. The simple knowledge that everything feels better after a basic stretch and some time sitting quietly just helps.
Anyway arriving is over-related. Journeying means for a short while I am lost in time and that has its own rewards, its own irresponsibilities. Currently I’m closely surrounded by so many people yet engaged with none; when I arrive I will be enfolded in the intimacy of family with all the love as well as the obligations and petty tensions that inevitably brings! I should take the care to enjoy the present moment.