With my unstable schedule the past few weeks, my yoga practice too went through some choppy instability. Last night, I finally got myself to look over the timetables of studios I had researched and went to bed around 10pm. I woke up after a good 8 hour sleep, had my fruit and water, and decided I am starting a daily practice as of today, October 1st. I got to the studio about 30 minutes before class time to familiarize myself with the space.
I tend to experience a certain level of nervousness when I go to a new space, especially if it is a gym or a yoga studio. It’s not something that preoccupies me; nonetheless, it does take some building up of courage to finally make the move. So I did.
I got to Happy Yoga and the studio was closed. There were no signs posted, but I was pretty sure my schedule said 9am Kundalini. I verified it online, it said 9am. Finally, people started showing up and it was around 9:15am. After a few phone calls, we realized that a new schedule had been uploaded on their Facebook page for October. No fault to anyone, my immediate reaction was one of annoyance and frustration, but I soon let go of that. I came back to the flat, checked the schedule and realized that there is a 10am class beginning a few blocks away.
I rushed to the Iyengar Institute of Barcelona and I was kindly told by the instructor that I won’t be permitted in the Level 3 class, because I do not have enough years of practice within the Iyengar Style of Yoga. Once again, utilizing all my techniques of anti-frustration, I understood, wore my socks and shoes, picked up my yoga mat and left the building. I tried two yoga studios and both closed it’s doors on me (today). Of course, the lovely instructor asked me to return tomorrow at 10am for the level 2 class.
Now, regardless of the reasons why these didn’t work out for me this morning, it did cause some thinking around how I used to react to situations of the sort and how that has evolved. Luckily, none of my anger and frustration manifested in angry and blameful behavior. I literally just packed up, left, tried to keep a smile on and told myself “make the situation better for yourself”.
So, I decided to visit Nomad coffee shop that I’d seen on my walk, which is one of very few, if not only place in Barcelona that incorporates multiple ways of brewing coffee, but especially my current favorite style using a Chemex. I laid down my mat, took a load off and ordered a Nicaraguan filter pour over. The guys were super friendly and the space was so well designed and inviting. The coffee bar puts you in direct contact with the baristas and gives you the opportunity to chat with your adjacent neighbors or the boys preparing your aromatic brew.
There are “private” seating areas too if you’re not feeling too communal. Overall though, the mere fact that Chemex has reached Barcelona and I was able to have the perfectly measured and prepared brew, flipped my morning around.
Now, with my deepening yoga practice and understanding the effects of various effects of coffee on the parasympathetic nervous system, I do understand why a huge quantity of coffee can be counterproductive to the maintenance and control of slow breathing. However, I appreciate the Yogi Dr’s article on “Is Coffee Anti-Yoga?” summarizes it nicely:
Coffee is not anti-Yoga, but it isn’t pro-Yoga either. Four cups of coffee every morning before Yoga practice is definitely not what the wise, old gurus would have ordered.
Yoga is about balance. Sometimes we need arousal of our sympathetic nervous systems, sometimes we need to let go, chill, and kick in our parasympathetic drive. It’s about a balance between the two, not about one to the exclusion of the other.
So, as I took every blissful sip of this deliciously prepared Cerro de Jesus Nicaraguan coffee, I let the frustrations of the morning go and told myself, this is exactly what needed to happen this morning.