I was looking for something to help me relax.
Yoga helps reduce stress, alleviate health problems, makes the spine supple.
I would like all of those things.
Yoga is used as a complete exercise program. and as a physical therapy routine.
I can understand that.
Where I get a little confused? is when I hear people go a little too mystical on me.
Telling me that Yoga is “The cessation of the perturbations of the mind.”
“That the ultimate goal is a state of permanent peace.” Permanent State of Peace?
Is that even possible?
I’ll bet even the Maharishi himself smashed a lamp or two in his day in anger.
Will Yoga heighten my awareness? reduce my stress? keep me in good physical shape?
I was willing to give it a shot.
The day of my first class, I was asked by my instructor. “If I knew where my Chakra was located?”
Chakra?, No? No I do not. Chakra is located just below your belly button, if you are a man? it’s located above your junk.
If you are a woman? get somebody else to show you.
Generally I don’t want to be pointing at or placing my fingers around the woman’s Chakra. Dig?
The Chakra is where all of your energy emits from.
After my first class I won’t forget thinking, You’re going to teach me how to breathe?
If I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t be here right now.
I’m paying someone to teach me how to breathe.
Apparently my poker face and eye roll gave me away. as my instructor rephrased her point.
“We will teach you how to breathe correctly, or better.” expelling bad energy, with cleansing breathing.
The instructions I’m getting here, this information? is not something I can share with my friends.
I can’t go and tell the fellas I’m taking Yoga.
I might as well tell them I’ve decided to become an astronaut.
“Hey umm Jocko? I started taking yoga classes.”
“Yoga!?! Wha? What for? Yoga? Wha? isn’t that where people sit on the floor and chant? Fucks smatter wit you?”
Followed by a punch in the nuts.
We often fear what we don’t understand grasshopper.
I went to class almost a year, 3 to 4 times a week. it was a wise decision.
After each class, Our yoga instructor would invite the class to stay for tea afterwards.
We’d sit on the floor in a circle basking in the glow of a completed class.
I’d feel good, alert, upbeat, relaxed, happy and content. I was at ease. she would pour us tea and pass the cup to her left. the person next to her would pass the cup to their left, each person would continue to pass the cup to the person seated to their left until it went around the circle to the person seated directly to the right of the instructor. no one would drink from their cup until everyone had a cup of tea. no one would pass a cup across the circle or break from the cycle.
This had something to do with the energy field in the room. before we drank, we’d lean forward to one another and bow. I must admit to you, there was a lot of positive energy in the room. you could feel it.
I asked the instructor one evening.
“What type of tea is this?” asking if it was Green? She’d smiled, “No.” “Is it Oolong?” again she smiled “No.”
I know my tea’s a little so I asked, “Is it Chai?” smiling she replied, “No.”
Our instructor appeared a little evasive to my queries. finally several classes later when she realized I would keep asking her, she gave me the Korean name of it. which of course I’d never heard of, and had difficulty pronouncing. she could have told me the tea I just drank was high grade liquid plutonium and I wouldn’t have known it.
I was just curious, what’s the secret or mystery? I think you should ask what you put in your body. I know this…..I felt great after drinking it. most likely I felt euphoric due to the combined effect of the yoga class and the tea. I was told it would help me cleanse my system. It tasted ok. and seemed to contain a large amount of caffeine. I was up, feeling great. without the jitters. on my walk home from class I would be smiling from ear to ear.
Yep, I was extremely happy with the results of signing up to take yoga.
There was one thing, that kinda bothered me about the tea circle. after we’d finish our tea. our instructor would ask for a volunteer to wash the cups. in the sink, in the bathroom.
The bathroom? not really that sanitary. still, I complied with the request to clean the teacups.
No one else ever volunteered to clean up after tea. Except me
It was as if the instructor had asked, “OK, I need someone to go behind enemy lines, this is a dangerous mission and you might not make it back.”
After every class I’d finish my tea, look up, and people would be heading for the door. so? I’d volunteer again.
This one evening after cleaning the cups I asked our instructor why no one else would take a turn?
Looking me in the eyes, she held both my wrists, spoke softly while bowing to me, “Cleaning is good for the soul.”
Oh OK…got it, good for the soul….except.
I kept dwelling on it. the harder I tried to let it go? the more resentful I grew. I’d look at the rest of my yoga practitioners, hoping that one of them would feel the need to clean their soul.
C’mon! Somebody else take a friggin turn. I’ve been cleaning these cups for months now. I’ve got a job. I didn’t sign up to wash your dishes. for goodness sakes someone else take a Turn!
Breathe! Breathe Dammit!
On the day of my last class. things had gotten weird, like things do from time to time.
Seriously needing to cease the perturbations rolling around in my head before I started flipping over tables and breathing fire.
I was greeted by my instructors smile and hug. I warmly hugged her back.
Then I removed my coat and shoes, bowing before entering the room.
This is done to show respect for the space and keep the positive energy flowing.
I went to the front of the room and placed my mat on the floor.
I closed my eyes, and let the negative energy leave my body by slowly exhaling, then slowly Inhaling good positive energy.
Yeah…..that’s it, ahhhhh, the day’s troubles began to lift and drift away. Leaving me with a serene feeling.
I would stretch and hold positions to facilitate flow and energy. I would sit in the lotus position and listen to myself breathe.
I would visualize myself beside a river at the side of a mountain. I was at that moment at peace. it was beautiful.
We all sat in a circle, our instructor began to pour us our communal tea. We passed the cups bowing to one another as a sign of respect. I felt good. Until I looked up to see the last of my class exiting the room.
I collected the cups and headed for the bathroom.
Closing the door behind me. looking into the mirror. I held a cup in my left hand and let it drop onto the floor. It shattered. I lifted another and let it fall to the floor.
Then I dropped several more cups into the toilet.
Someone knocked on the door. It was my instructor, asking me if I was alright?
I opened the door and bowed to her.
“Robert? What has happened?”
I told her that the perturbation of my mind had caused me to go berserk.
I bowed again, moving past her carefully, I put my shoes on. And went home.
We all have to chart our own paths.
My path was not doing her dishes.
I throughly enjoyed taking yoga. There were lots of positive benefits.
I would recommend it to everyone.
There are many different forms of yoga out there. I just need to find one that doesn’t require cleaning the cups.