August 11, 2010

Yoga Drama


When you think about yoga, you probably wouldn’t pair it in a sentence with the word drama – the words blend like oil and water.

Right?

I recently had a -– let’s just say -- interesting experience where the two mixed together. It wasn’t pretty. But it was funny. Kind of.
My sister Lynn, who is a yoga instructor, and her friends Tallie (who is also a yoga instructor) and another friend Barbara (not her real name), drove down to San Francisco from Sacramento, to take a Yoga class taught by her friend Bryan, a well-known Yogi-Guru-Master.

Parking is a premium in many parts of the City by the Bay, especially at the yoga spot in the Castro neighborhood where the class was scheduled to be held. The whole day was picture perfect: great parking, clear skies, mild temperatures, quality time with my sis and her friends, a healthy, light breakfast and lots of laughs…

Then the drama ensued.

We walk over to the Yoga center and as we turned the corner near the entrance, people stormed out of the door, red-face, stomping feet, pouty-lips and all.

Huff. Puff. Huff. Puff.

Posted on the door was a sign, in BIG bold, sans serif, Times Roman letters read: Bryan’s class will be taught today by _______ ________ (In respect to the sub, I’ll omit the name of the poor woman who had dropped her plans that weekend to fill in, just to be faced with a bunch of outraged Yogis with their stretchy designer lycra pants in a bunch.)

Silly, un-yoga-like comments spilled onto the sidewalk: “I can’t believe this! We drove all the way up from Los Angeles just to see Bryan,” said two elderly men with salt and pepper hair, in disdain. “I won’t be able to make this trip again at least for two more years. I want my money back.”

Then my sister’s friend, Barbara added to the madness, surprised me and said, “Dammit, we came to see Bryan, not some other young sub girl to teach us Yoga! I want my money back, too."

Waaait a minute, did she just say that? I thought to myself. Isn’t part of Yoga supposed to be about letting go of judgment?

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My sister got on her iPhone and texted Bryan to see why he wasn’t going to make his appearance. There was no answer. So she checked his FaceBook (gotta love FB) She saw his status, which explained his absence: “Stuck on the tarmac at LAX because of strong winds and bad weather."

The two angry men chatted with my sister and her gang for a bit as more people arrived, some yelling at the woman at the counter, as if the woman at the front desk was Mother Nature and the cause of Bryan’s absence.

With the Yoga wisdom my sis taught me from back in the day, I took a deep breathe and tried to breathe humor into the ‘situation.’ “Why don’t you all gather together and I’ll take a picture and send it to Bryan, to show that you support him and miss him?” One. Two. Three, cheesy pouty faces… They all laughed -– I could literally feel the awkwardness fade away –- you know, that same tension-releasing feeling you get when you work the downward dog, but minus the fierce bark.

Tallie smiled the whole time. I asked her, isn’t Yoga supposed to be about going with the flow? Taking deep breathes when facing a tough situation? Surrendering?

Chillax people!

Tallie agreed, “Oh well,” she said. “It wasn’t meant to be.” Then I replied with one of my favorite quotes from Eckhardt Tolle, “It is what it is.” It was really as simple as that. Move on.

My sister and her friends turned around and drove back to Sacramento. Lynn wanted to stay and enjoy the city, however, Barbara, wasn’t ready to let go and let this situation dictate her day and insisted they go home. The fun and adventure was over for them as they hit the road.

Lamenting about what should have, could have, would have been isn’t going to make the situation any better. In life, if go with the flow and are gentle with yourself in tense situations, you will always be in a better space. Let’s take cars for example; when you constantly speed, slam on the brakes and peel out -– your car wears down more quickly. The same idea applies to your body. Wouldn’t you rather buy a used ’79 Ford Mustang from the granny that drove it gently and with care, rather than the teenager who drove it to the ground?

Life is really like a “choose your own adventure book.” Remember those? It’s full of choices, lessons and consequences. When situations appear in your life will you let them bug and eat away at you? Or will you be grateful and try to search for the true meaning of the lesson presented to you? Will yelling, screaming, pouting get make you feel better? If so, good, then move on. Or will you move onward and enjoy your day?

No one is perfect, I let my tighty whiteys get in a bunch once in a while, but when I do, I now remember to chuckle at myself afterward because I realize my ridiculous reactions.

One helpful method of moving on -– think to yourself, is this something I’m going to stress over tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next Year? If it is a foreseeable long term situation, then I give it more thought, if not, I move forward.

When things don’t go your way, think about the important lessons you learned because you can’t go back in time to undo what ‘is.’ Because after all, “it is what it is.”

Namaste…