Posted by: kerryalina | 3 March 2012

Challenge Class 17: Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Peace

This was the strongest, most fulfilling class I’ve had in a long time!  One of my favourite teachers unexpectedly walked in – she doesn’t usually teach Fridays and I haven’t seen her in the studio for a few weeks now.  She was the very first teacher to learn my name and she’s not afraid to use it.  While other teachers have complimented me on my floor bow, she’s the one who pushed me to deepen it, kick back further, until I could see my toes over my head.  It was a hard class, but I was grinning like a loon throughout.

I walked out, still glowing, logged my class on the challenge sheet and sat down against the corridor wall to wipe my mat clean.  A veteran student came over and tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned, an uncontainable smile on my face, experienced now in how the challenge sheet prompts conversations and encouragements.  “Excuse me,” she said, mouth pursed.  “I know that’s your favourite place for cleaning your mat, but I wasn’t sure if you knew that everybody is falling over you when you sit there.”

Now, my studio has one of the smallest break-out areas of any in Melbourne and as I glanced around it quickly, I confirmed firstly that there was simply nowhere else to sit, and secondly that there was SO MUCH SPACE to walk around me.  By this time, veteran student had already walked off, shaking her head in disgust.

It’s hard to explain just how badly this burst my newly-fledged confidence.  My problem isn’t that she approached me, although I’ll admit I would have appreciated a friendlier manner.  It’s that I really don’t think there’s anywhere else I can sit to clean my mat… but now every time I place myself there, I’ll feel selfish for forcing an entire class of yogis to trip over me.  Although, given that I’ve been coming for nine months and I’ve never noticed anyone come even close to stumbling over me, I really wonder just how much of a problem I can be?  Perhaps I’m just too involved in the intricacies of mat-cleaning to notice, though.

“Don’t let anyone steal your peace” is just one of the oft-repeated Bikramisms we hear in class.  It’s one I’m working on at the moment.  I’ll endeavour to smile at the thought of veteran student’s concern for other students.  I’ll try my best to ensure I’m sitting where people can’t trip over me.  And then I’ll accept that I’ve done everything I can and the rest is up to their powers of observation and quick yogi reflexes.


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