”It’s cold out there this morning” one of my regular morning Yogis announces as the walks into class this morning. He was right, I rode the bike and it did feel a little chilly. “It’s 37 degrees” he continues. What would we do without digital thermometers in our cars. On the bike of course things are a little less scientific. Are my hands numb when I get to class? If so, its a cold one.
As a motorcyclist you dress in layers to stay comfy. Too cold add an extra sweatshirt, too hot take one off. Back in England it was not unusual for me to where 3 pairs of gloves in the winter. No winding up the in car digital thermostat to a cozy 74 degrees here. If you are cold, or hot, you have to stop the bike, get off, add or subtract a layer, then continue on your way. So you ride with the dilemma swirling through your mind and upsetting your concentration. Do I stop mid ride and change, or am I almost there? Ignore the discomfort and keep the flow going.
I have been struck this week by this same phenomenon while teaching Yoga. Women, and to a lesser degree men, tend to come dressed in layers. As we warm up so the layers come off and as we head towards savasana the layers go back on again. Doesn’t this destroy the flow? Though in some of my more intense classes maybe its a crafty excuse to take a welcome break:)
From a teacher’s perspective layers coming off feels like a good thing. “I am getting them warmed up, that’s good for stretching later”. The counter is not true as the layers go back on. “have a slowed things down to early?”, “should I put the heater on?” At the end of the class, usually just before final savasana the biggest disruption occurs. People reach for blankets, extra sweatshirts, gloves, bobble hat …… It’s a good thing of course it’s hard to reach Samadi with your body shaking uncontrollably and your teeth are chattering louder than the music system. Got to be comfy in savasana.
So how does an instructor make this more like a car ride and less like a road trip with the Hells Angels? There is the heater on the wall of course, very similar to the car, in operation. Just dial up the correct temperature and problem solved. I always put the heater on before class to warm up the room a little before we start. But the heating systems these days have a mind of their own. I think they call it “fuzzy logic”. They decide when they will come on and more importantly when they will switch off. Important because the heaters in Yoga studios like to let you know when they are on. The mystery of what all those ex Concorde engineers did, after that deafening aircraft was taken out of commission, is solved. They came to US and now build heaters for Yoga studios.
So here is the dilemma. Putting the heater on at the end class is like taking savasana at the end of San Francisco airport’s main runway. Not putting the heater on means people have to stop during the most important part of the flow to layer up like a motorcyclist.
As a Yoga enthusiast and motorcyclist I see the solution is close at hand though. The Beatles summed it up on Abbey Road. “Here comes the sun”