I have did not write a single entry in November so to alleviate my share I am going to date this one as November 30, even though I am writing it on December 12.
Since August, I’ve been attending yoga classes twice a week during my lunch hour at my workplace. Once a week, a long-time teacher comes in and delivers a briskly paced class in 45 minutes for $7 in a style that I can’t identify (we start out rolling the soles of our feet on tennis balls — I actually love that part). This workplace yoga has been going on for more than four or five years, but I never attended because it did not seem worth the effort for such a short class and I preferred to do my yoga in the evenings. But now, my evening routines are as unpredictable as my lunch hour so I decided to take the class as often as feasible (meetings frequently stretch into the 12:30 pm time slot). At least, I am getting some yoga practice in.
The setting is in a windowless room on the loading dock floor with a carpeted floor and mirrors on some walls. It’s chilly and austere, but it’s one of the few spaces in our building that’s available for non-work activities. Some mats, blocks and resistance bands are available. Other days they may have choir practice or dancing lessons.
My workplace is an international organization with a distinct Latin flavor, and not a hot bed for mind-body innovation. Our neighboring organizations (World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) put us to shame with the quality of their fitness facilities and the range of services provided. They’ve had Art of Living courses and meditation training (and probably more than that, but I don’t see their wellness schedules). Our nurse is lucky to get a meditation teacher to come in once or twice a year to give a chat.
There is a core of four or five regular students, and once in a while a new participant will show up to sample the session. The more veteran students take the lead on the non-teacher day. I’ve had a chance to contribute a couple of vinyasa sequences and it was a valuable lesson. I had to think and give instructions for each movement and posture while going the vinyasa myself. It’s interesting how some yoga sequences, like Sun Salutations, have become second nature, almost instinctive. Giving instructions is almost as if I came outside my body to observe what I was doing and to lead the class.
Just a short yoga practice during the day does so much to break the accumulation of stress in my body. I’ve started finding moments when I can take mini-yoga breaks, doing forward folds or simple arm and shoulder sequences.
Wouldn’t you know it — I write about going to yoga class at lunchtime at work, and then miss both classes this week because of noon meetings that overlapped with my class.