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Why doesn’t yoga always feel this peaceful?

Last year, our yoga studio moved to a new location. It’s in a shiny new building with nice bathrooms and freshly painted walls with no fingerprints on them…

…and it’s also got construction.

Lots of construction.

The space above us is being renovated, so there are drills and hammers and all kinds of loud things I can’t even identify. Sometimes I suspect they are doing shot-put with bowling balls for the hell of it. The yoga studio walls shake in savasana. It’s not ideal.

So, I sigh loudly. And I cringe. And I think This studio is my happy place where I come to finally get quiet and de-stress and why isn’t it all calm like doing yoga on a peaceful beach and DEAR GOD WHY???

The other day, one of my yoga teachers – who, not coincidentally, is one of the most enlightened people I know – commented on the construction. She said it made her crazy for a little while, but she just thought about the person who was on the other side of that drill on this Saturday morning. She sent out a little love and gratitude to them for doing their job, so that she didn’t have to work construction and she could be down here, teaching yoga.

Holy shift, Batman.

I was instantly dragged out of my own whiney issues and with such beautiful simplicity, the situation morphed into something positive. It was an opportunity to practice sending some compassion to another being that I don’t even know.

You know what’s really crazy? I don’t even hear the construction anymore. It was like flipping a switch in my mind. And when someone mentioned that the construction was going to be continuing for the next 6 months – I though, well, that’s not too bad.

Because really? In the grand scope of things, what is 6 months?

A mindful, open-hearted comment like that can cause such a shift in perspective. Instead of getting cranky about the construction and therefore ruining my own yoga practice, I can choose a different choice.

Of course, as with everything with yoga, this has been working beyond the mat, too. Instead of rolling my eyes when the lady in front of me at the grocery store wants to fight about the sale price of pretzels – I can change my mind and just be present and feel my feet on the floor. When I have to get blood drawn for my annual check up, I can change my mind and do some deep breathing instead of tensing up my entire body, and almost passing out for lack of oxygen.

Every moment is a choice and you are always allowed to change your mind. It’s shocking to see how often my initial instinct is to make something harder than it needs to be. So much of life is completely out of my control, it makes sense that I should at least choose to make my responses a little more pleasant. It is clear from experience that sending out bitchy, negative energy to a difficult situation is only going to make it worse. For everyone.

The construction is going to be there, whether I am ruining my yoga practice over it or not.

Not seems like a way better choice.


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