Yoga and Airplanes

I’m back from Hawaii!  It was a great trip, and I plan on sharing some of the highlights (and lo-lights) tomorrow.  But today, here are some observations that can tide you over:

Five ways that a yoga studio is like an airplane

1. There is a destination: For me, the destination is that post-yoga euphoria.  I leave the room feeling strong, healthy, and relaxed.  The ride is full of discomforts, times of relaxation, and general ups and downs, but when I arrive at the end of class, its always worth it.

2. Get there early, stay after:  Just like how we get on the airplane and settle in, wait for for everyone to arrive, and prepare for take off, I also like to find my “seat” in class, go through the pre class ritual of stretches and getting in the zone, and prepare for take off.  After we arrive, I must stay on for a few minutes, waiting in savasana while other people disembark before I.

3. Pray the middle seat is vacant: Just like that hope against hope on an airplane that the seat next to me will stay vacant, I watch yogis file in, wondering where they will sit for the duration of class.  I casually watch as people find spaces all around the room, silently stressing out a bit when I realize its an especially crowded class.  I hope that just like that extra seat on the plane, I will have room to stretch out, to give my arms plenty of room (for those sun salutations!), and to have a little privacy in a room full of people.  I usually don’t have the extra space, but when I do its a very pleasant surprise.

4. There is no way to control the temperature: I practice hot yoga and another series of yoga called “red” series.  The hot yoga room is about 105 degrees, while the red series room is 99 degrees.  The temperature is already set which means I don’t have any say about it even when I really just need some air.  At least in the airplane I can direct a flow of air directly at my face.  If I had the luxury of a personal fan though, what would be the point of hot yoga?

5.  Every plane needs a captain: The yoga teacher is our fearless captain, guiding us through the turbulence of a difficult pose, the rest of our cruising altitudes, and landing smoothly in final savasana.  “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.  We will reach our destination, Zen, in about eighty minutes.  Please enjoy the ride”.

 

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