So I went to a yoga class on Thursday night, and I just wasn't feeling especially...agreeable. There was no particular reason for my bad mood; maybe it was the cold, or the fact that I hadn't been very productive that day, or something. I don't know: I was grouchy. Often, I find that yoga is great for getting me over bad moods, and by the end of Thursday's class I did feel much better. But during the whole setting-up period and the first twenty minutes or so of the class, my inner monologue was, well, not very nice. I actually began composing a list of things that piss me off in yoga classes:
1. Really crowded studios.
2. People who deliberately position their mats to take up more than one space. (We'd all like extra room, but the rest of us know how to behave. Come on. Be civilized.)
3. People who won't stagger their mats, even when they have the opportunity, so you're whacking your arms against theirs all night.
4. People who do stagger their mats, but then for some inexplicable reason don't stand at the top of the mat, but rather position themselves so that they're right up next to you anyway.
5. People who moan, loudly, often, for no reason. Sometimes, okay, you're straining, and a moan just happens. No problem. But try to keep it under control. Seriously. It's distracting.
6. Laughing, and laughing, and laughing, at every moderately amusing thing the instructor says.
7. Having my mat stepped on by people who are not me.
8. People who gather up lots of extra pillows, and straps, and blocks, and then pile them up next to their mats in such a way that they inhibit their neighbor's (i.e., my) movement.
(Okay, I enjoyed that.)
It's funny, though, how all my petty, territorial reactions come so much to the fore during yoga--precisely the activity that's supposed to get you beyond all of that. Sometimes I feel ashamed of myself, actually: can't I get over myself, for once? Can't I be nice?
But here's the more favorable way of looking at it that I'm trying to sell myself on. I can't just stop myself from being petty and territorial and an occasional raging bitch. What I can do is notice when I'm caught up in these absurd thoughts. I mean, really. None of the stuff mentioned above affects me in any signifcant way: if the room is crowded, you adjust the postures slightly to accomodate the people around you. That's it. I hope that, by just being aware of my inner rants, I can gradually quit reacting to them emotionally.
In any event, the whole sordid scenario distracts me entirely from the job market, the conference paper I need to write, the book review I'm revising, etc. And that is definitely a good thing.