Last week at the end of my 5:30 pm Stead Pulse and Flow class, appropriate for all levels of experience in case you were wondering, someone made an interesting observation.
“Have you ever noticed how our “Om” sounds so much more harmonious at the end of class?”
I can’t help but pause and think, yeah, I’ve noticed. I’ve even thought of mentioning it and having folks notice the before and after “OM” in yoga class. I never have because I didn’t want class participants to think I was being even a little critical of their “Om-ing”. That just ain’t what this is about.
But since someone brought it up, I’ve been thinking. I thought about it all weekend while I worked at my other job as my alter-ego, the zany and lovable waitress. While pondering the key of Om I noticed something else interesting; something like harmony happens with my tables at work.
A party of two comes in and I saunter up to the table, say hello and get drink orders. They’re hungry and disinterested in the special, though I’m under contract to tell them anyway. I bring ’em bread and they still haven’t really made eye contact with me.
Something happens, usually by the time I clear the salad plates but before the entrees arrive; they decide I ain’t so bad. They tell me a little about their lives, I say something about mine. We’re humans interacting. It may have a lot to do with their blood sugar leveling out, but maybe something else too.
About an hour in resonance with other humans brings a companionable quality to the interaction. Not always, not in the case of cop and robber. As a hairdresser when a new client sits down I’ll sometimes wonder what in the hell I’m supposed to do with her. Here is someone new, someone I don’t know, and there she is. She doesn’t know what in the hell to do with me, either, so I ask if she has children or if she likes cake and then we’re fine.
The case of the Harmonious Om is a little different, but not very much so. When people arrive to class they have been at work, with their sometimes unruly children, with their sometimes unruly spouses, or in traffic. We arrive at the yoga center frazzled and just glad to be there.
Arriving on your landing zone, that sticky mat in your favorite color, is just the beginning. You Om, I Om, we all Om and it sounds a little warbley and disconnected, like we’re almost sure where we’re going but don’t want to admit we can’t remember the street address.
After an hour of moving in sync, of breathing the same air and working in the same soft tissues of our bodies as each other, being guided by the same voice and receiving Grace from the same Source, we are brought into greater awareness of our innate connection. At the beginning of yoga class or anytime in which we feel a little self-conscious or disconnected, it isn’t that we are actually dislodged from the sparkling cosmic web, but that we have forgotten we’re intrinsic to it.
During class we remember. My Teacher was talking about this last week, how yoga practices are tools for removing the things the block us from knowing our true nature. Ram Dass calls this Polishing the Mirror, which allows us to see clearly and to be in harmony with each other. The beautiful unity and sound of Om concluding class perfectly demonstrates the ability of practice to bring us back online and in sync with our higher selves and each other.
Join me this week and let’s experiment with this theory. You can also support the Uru Yoga and Beyond teacher trainees in their second week of teaching in a group setting. They’ll be instructing standing poses and are really very excited about it.