Distractions, they are everywhere from the cell phone ringing, kids cryings, people talking, someone cutting you off in traffic, etc. In the yoga room they can be anything from someone's sweat flung towards you, not so great smelling carpet, room is too hot, person next to you clearly ate something awful because now you smell it because it's seeping out of their pores, sweat rolling down your face, not enough water, tummy hurts because of too much water, the list can go on and on. Even outdoors like this past Saturday at Lululemon's Om in the Park at Northpark Center where the atmosphere was serene with the sun peaking over billowy clouds, large looming trees shading the grass and perfect temperatures, there was a distraction, noise of a rake smoothing out the gravel pathway. In yoga and in life, it is a daily, sometimes hourly task for me to not just ignore the distractions but to work to a point where I don't even notice the distractions, where I am so centered in myself and my goals, the distractions are zero, no matter what is going on.
I'm reminded of this ultimate destination often, in and out of the yoga room. This could be why my wonderful father bought me a calendar of "Don't sweat the small stuff" sayings for each day. I'm trying though.
This past Saturday when the grounds staff at Northpark proceed to rake the gravel right where the yoga class was going on, I ignored it the first time. The second time when I noticed students were looking at the man funny I just made a comment about distractions and part of yoga is to move past those distractions and focus on your yoga. It was funny and I think the guy got the hint, he smiled and stopped raking. He was just doing his job, I am sure he is suppose to rake the gravel and have it all nice and ready for when the mall opens but right when a yoga class is going on isn't really the best time. But what is it to a few yogi's to have a rake running through gravel in the middle of class? I should have been able to ignore it, or better, not even be aware of it at all. That to me is real yoga. Like I said, still working on it. I find laughing about it and realizing I need to work on it progress in the right direction.
Or how about when you are in yoga class and people are huffing and puffing as if they are about to pass out? Or when someone flings sweat on your towel, or worse, on you?! Or the person that puts their feet right in your face when they are in Savasana? All, very annoying, all just minor distractions...and really, zero of them have anything to do with me and my yoga practice. And yet, I still allow these things to creep in and disturb my 90 minute meditation during yoga.
Is the person huffing and puffing annoying? Sure, they are loud and disrupting class. Are they doing it on purpose? No. They are probably doing everything they can to survive. On good days I just smile to myself and think about MY first day when I almost died and I try and give out good vibes to help the person out.
And the flying sweat...never have I met a person that meant to fling their sweat on another person. Is it a little gross? Sure. But now I comfort myself in knowing that I am sweating too and just as quick as it fell on me, it will be off too as my sweat streams out and down my body. If I am not sweating enough...well, I just work harder to work up a sweat to get it off of me quicker!
And the feet in the face, that's easy. No one's feet are worse than those at teacher training so feet almost don't bother me anymore. See, making progress already!
Everyday life is a little harder for me. Maybe it's hard for you too? This is one reason I go to yoga, to help me bring clarity and focus to my mind so I am always using my energy on things that improve me and not so much time worrying about what others are or are not doing. Of course, I still get caught up in the distractions from time to time, but I'm human and Bikram says humans are the slave to bad habits. So I come by it honestly I guess.