Ever have one of those days when you wonder what on earth is going on with the world? When the left field presents itself just when you least expect it and says, basically: ‘Boom. Deal with that, smartypants.’
So it has been with my yoga class of late. For the past two classes I teach, something has turned up out of the blue, from the far side of bonkersness and paraded about in a manner that was hard to ignore.
Last week, just as we were cat-cowing as part of our warm up, I caught sight of something out of the window. Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No – it was a man. I teach in a room that is three floors up!
Yes, it was the window cleaner. So we paused and we waited and I made jokes until he had gone. If I’d been particularly on the ball I would have said: ‘And now lift up your upper body, raise your arms to a T-shape, bend your left arm till your hand touches the back of your ear and then straighten, and bend, and straighten, and bend…’ But you know, hindsight. A wonderful thing.
As it was, we had a giggle and waved to the window cleaner as he disappeared around the corner.
The week before, waiting for me in the room were 15 anatomy class skeletons. I know. Image. All lined up in from of some screens behind which were treatment tables. The University had an Employability Week on, for students to hear from some amazing speakers, but room needed to be found for storing equipment to make space for the extra lectures. And our room was it.
Now there was a time not so long ago when I might have panicked, probably reacted emotionally and considered finding the Sports Centre staff for an explanation. Undoubtedly I would have rehearsed that conversation in my head a few times, just to stoke the fire of irritation.
As it was I sat down. Laughed. Looked at my lesson plan and worked out how I could adapt a couple of the asanas to work with less space.
We have a tendency to think of yoga as being all about the physical in the West. All about what we look like. All about appearance. Its benefits are so much greater. Just one is the ability to stand back from a situation and consider what the best way forward might be. It might be serious. It might be funny. You have the power to decide. You have the power to shape your reality.
As it was, we had quite a laugh. Most of the students found it funny and I made jokes about our independent observers being very quiet and possibly needing to eat more.
Step back, deep breath in, deep breath out. Useful, oftentimes.