I once heard someone say you should never take up yoga if you like a good personal drama, if you’re attached to making your life more exciting than it perhaps needs to be, if you actually enjoy getting a bit high on the everyday stresses. I think you’ll know what I mean. I can fall into this trap easily. For example workday conversations almost always begin with a slightly rushed, breathless greeting: “Hi! How are you?” And the response 9 times out of 10 is “Oh, you know — BUSY!” Rueful grin, feigned weary shake of the head, the gentle sigh of the office martyr. It makes me feel useful and important. Sound familiar?
I’m trying to be less like this, at work and everywhere in between. I try to save my energy for the things that need it and for the people who need it. OK, I don’t always succeed, but responding more wisely is just another work in progress… And teaching yoga in the workplace means I have to become good at creating a calming atmosphere quickly, as people transition within minutes from desk work to mat work. It really helps me maintain a sense of perspective on what’s really worth worrying about at work.
So I’m kind of amused (and kind of irritated, tbh!) that my mum (and mum-in-law too) is making a big drama out of the weather this week. Sure, it’s snowing in UK; and, yes, I should be travelling at the weekend and the airports are currently struggling, with the weather set to worsen… But there’s nothing I can do about any of this, so I’m not worrying. I’m monitoring the situation, making sensible contingency plans, but I’m definitely not in control so I’ll just have to adapt to however it pans out.
I’m not praying to Indra for a divine intervention. But I am taking lots of travel snacks so that I’m not in company with a much more scary phenomenon than angry weather gods — a ‘hangry’ husband. If I’m with him, and he’s happy, then it’ll all be good no matter how disrupted the travel might be.
Class last night was amusingly relevant — my teacher was talking about befriending situations. A gentler version of my meditation teacher talking about getting intimate with pain. This is a step beyond my intention merely to accept what I can’t change. It’s more positive, suggesting there might be something of interest in an apparently adverse situation. So if we’re delayed, I guess that offers more time for some of my favourite quiet activities: people watching, chatting with hubby, a gentle stretch in a quiet corner, more coffee drinking, one more last call home to my ma and pa… And an opportunity to practise being OK (or more than just OK!) with how things are. Last time we were badly delayed in an airport I did a bit of yoga quietly in my corner only to turn round and find several people copying me and stretching out in chair versions of Uttanasana and seated twists and someone lunging in the aisle! So maybe there’ll be a yoga-sharing opportunity to watch out for too! 🙂
Featured image: Photograph: Andrew Milligan/P from the Guardian Online.