Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stay On The Mat


I am a shitty Buddhist.

Thankfully, it's called "practicing" Buddhism and not "perfecting" Buddhism.

Today at yoga there was a full-grown adult man. This is important. We'll get back to this.

Earlier in the week at yoga, one of the instructors brought her child to class (she was a student in the class). He wouldn't sit still. He wouldn't stay in the poses. Understandable, as he was 8 and not likely to make it for the full 90-minute class anyway, and we all knew it going in. It was a fun, energetic class, and he was part of that happy energy. Plus, it was the first day of summer.

Back to the full-grown man. For the whole class, this full-grown man wiggled and fidgeted and plain old walked around. Less understandable. He is not new to yoga, and as mentioned previously, he is a full-grown man.

I thought I might have to come up offa my mat and punch him.

I understand discomfort on the yoga mat. As he was fidgeting around, I was bound into a new pose, thighs and hips screaming. This was a new class for me, and I didn't know what to expect. What I got was a beginner's class with intermediate poses and no modifications, just the directive to "listen to our inner teacher."

Well, homie's inner teacher was saying, "Walk around and disrupt the hell out of everyone, even in corpse pose at the end. Especially at the end. Make all kind of weird fidgety mat noises that are way worse than the normal loud breathing you hear in class, and even worse that hearing a fart in class, which happens sometimes. Slide all around, and, hey, take a tour of the back of the studio in the middle of a pose, and walk reallyclose to the annoyed person on the mat next to you because I bet she'll LOVE that."

Buddhists are supposed to be kind. Compassionate. Patient. I get one out of three and I feel pretty good about myself; however, I have very little patience for those who wiggle in yoga. It is a failing. I understand.

It took me a while to learn to stop wiggling myself. To learn to hold the pose. To suffer through the screaming thighs. I read a list of yoga rules from Vytas Baskauskas, the hot dude from Survivor who happens to also teach yoga (and who Sicily correctly identified as being "just the right amount of asshole."), and they immediately helped me stop fidgeting. He points out that fidgeting and getting a drink and leaving class to pee in the middle of class is just your body trying to escape from something painful. I have attended classes where all students left at some point to use the bathroom.

This is not a coincidence. The class was hard as hell, and the students that day all had some serious personal issues happening at that point. #RunAway

My point is this, and it's a metaphor: stay on the mat. Work through it. Don't run away from what's uncomfortable.

I am still a shitty Buddhist, but at least I'm learning.

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