Being on time
This is about being on time – but it is also about novels and just possibly about the subconscious. It does start with yoga but it may very quickly veer off the subject into the unexpected. We hope you are not one of the unfortunate few who have been turned away from the studio because they have arrived too late for a class. There are good reasons why we have to do this but they vary a bit and they depend on which class it is. With the hot classes, it is straightforward. The breathing exercises at the start are a vital part of the physical preparation for the class. Miss those and you’re not in the right condition for what lies ahead. In all the classes, the mental preparation is just as important and it is likely to disturb the peace of the room if someone comes in, however quietly, and does all that stuff with their mat and the rest when the the class has moved into a different frame of mind.
However… this is all a bit rich because the writer of this blog, though never late for a class, is currently four years late for something else and it has made me think. Regular visitors will have noticed that James (me – the lesser half of the Pacific Yoga founding duo) can often be seen working on a laptop at a cafe table. I am currently four years late, entirely due to the way the PY project took over our lives, in delivering a novel to my long-suffering publishers and with a final, final deadline only days away as I write this, I have discovered that setting the alarm at 05.00 every day gives me a productive head start and then – being an ex news journalist and therefore used to writing in odd corners – I get more done in between PY jobs as the day goes on.
Has this got anything to do with yoga, I hear you ask? Maybe – through a link to the meditative state and its importance for creativity and problem solving. Once upon a time, way back in the last century when the world was a different place, I used to teach occasional creative writing courses at the Arvon Foundation (and if you have a novel lurking inside you, there is no better way to let it out than an Arvon course). What so often stops budding writers is the pain when it is not going smoothly, when you stare at a blank page, nothing stirs and frustration builds. I always told new writers that was a moment they should not just welcome but stoke up by going on and on making false starts or simply staring at the page – because frustration is what finally triggers our subconscious to switch on and then, when you step away, it is the subconscious that has all that extra power to sort out your problem. It may take a night’s sleep or five nights’ sleep or year or a hot shower (works for me) but at some unexpected moment the light bulb will come on when the hidden powerhouse in your head serves up the solution.
Yoga does that too and in a much less frustrating way. You already know that, don’t you? Taking you out of the run of everyday problems does wonders for your mental flexibility as well as the physical part. You will have noticed that the core of what we do here is not obviously spiritual in the traditional yoga sense – but everything here is based around the belief that you will find your own meditative place in a way that suits you, helped by our calm and carefully detailed environment. That’s why arriving in good time for your class serves you and your fellow students well – and if an idea for a novel pops into your head as you leave the room, don’t blame me.