by Angela Clark
For the past three or four weeks our Mala home has been surrounded by industrial scaffolding and all the ‘crap’ (not for lack of better word) that goes along with it.
We, as practitioners, have been playing host to a myriad of sounds, smells, and stifling humidity. We have drills and hammers during savasana, men hanging in front of the windows during sun salutations, and a constant chatter of Bengali competing with our inner chatter of a different language.
Having the chaos right outside the window of your yoga mat quickly moves the ‘practice on the mat’ into ‘practice off the mat.’
As we become hyper-aware of our surroundings, we will begin to notice which sounds we want to go away or our attachment to a space void of humidity. Knowing that the workers have to work, that sounds will exist around us and it will get hot and humid, can we continue to allow ourselves to come back to the moment in front of us – no matter how uncomfortable. Can we let our environment exist with us in the same space and time?
Of course it takes training to stay in the present moment, and it won’t always happen, so we practice with compassion for ourselves, letting that extend out as compassion for others. Because even with the banging and the drilling, there can be a grounded silence in our lives.