Class 3 of 30: Yoga Etiquette
If you’ve been following along, you’ll realize that I missed my practice yesterday. This is because of a phenomenon called the “two show day”. When I have a matinee and an evening show, I have to be careful to prioritize my show over my yoga. I didn’t sleep well the night before and when the alarm went off at 6am, I just knew it wasn’t going to happen. The problem is that I am being paid to do a physical job, so I can’t be tired or too sore when it comes to getting two shows done in a day. It just means that I’ll have to do a double class day in the near future. Hopefully tomorrow.
Back to class 3 of 30…
It all began when I was lying in Savasana in the quiet, dimly lit, hot room, and waiting for class to start. Two women traipse into the room and one immediately says to her friend (at a stage whispered volume) “Oh my god, I can’t see!”. Fine. You’re not supposed to talk. But fine. It was an emergency. Right? Then, she takes her place right behind me in the room and starts to roll out her mat. And, I kid you not, she rolls her mat right into my head! I couldn’t believe it. Then she says “Ohh.. sorry”. Too loud. Too little. Too late. Come on lady.
The thing about yoga, is it’s different than anything most people has ever tried. Unless you grew up doing Royal Academy of Dancing ballet syllabus. You shut your mouth when you enter the room. You don’t comment. You don’t look around. You don’t ask questions. You don’t even question the method. You just do. You do your best. And that’s what I love about it. No small talk. No bullshit.
I understand at first glance the sign on the studio door that reads “Please, remain silent in the practice studio” seems to say “don’t talk if you can help it”. But people. It means silence. No WHISPERING. That’s the worst. Just breathe. I’d love to hear the sound of your breathe stranger.
Teacher: Alice. Love her.
Class: Moksha – 60 mins.
Thoughts: After my debacle at the beginning, I had a lovely class. Really quite focused. Alice talked about a really interesting idea; the lightness of your being versus the darkness. Now, at first, it seems really hippie and out there, but what it means is just the positive versus the negative. You’re standing in a pose you like doing and you think, “My stomach looks nice today”. Great. Positive. Lightness beams from you. Two seconds go by. You bend sideways, and your muffin top shows and you think “God, I’m the fattest person here”. Bad. Dark thoughts cloud over. You can’t give one more meaning or weight than the other. Both thoughts are part of you and deserve the same amount of attention and disregard.
Alice was talking about it more in terms of yoga poses though. I just translated it into my own body image issues I deal with. When you’re doing a pose that you know is supposed to be stretching the front leg. That’s the lightness, we see it, we feel it. It’s an obvious place to bring our attention too. But what about the supporting leg. It’s still working. Is it working to the same degree? If you bring your attention to it, you can even out your practice. Yoga is not about being the strongest or most flexible… even within yourself. There’s always time and energy to be spent on evening out. On reminding ourselves that everything that ever happens is just a moment. It only has weight and meaning if we give it such.
Do you enjoy the “hippie” stuff that comes along with yoga?