My cell phone and yoga. These are two joys I often wonder how I ever lived without.
The convenience of my cell phone with the 24-hour availability of myself and everyone else is not something I take for granted. I was born into the generation that watched the cordless phone emerge, making any room in the house my own private office. Features like party lines, emergency breakthroughs (which were never an emergency) and my all time favorite, call waiting. All of this meant that I would never again miss chat time with a girlfriend or a even better, a date with a boy.
It wasn’t long before this that my dad got a very large phone (that was too pricey for our family to use for social needs) put into his car. This was almost as cool as his Knight Rider inspired Datsun 280 ZX saying things like “The door is ajar.”
Then, in my late teens I finally got my first beeper.
The digital world turned cyber world was in full force around the globe and eventually landed right in my yoga room.
I started practicing yoga shortly after beepers became popular, and became a teacher by the time cell phones were in every hand on the planet.
As my love for cellular technology has grown, so has my love of spirituality and yoga. As the Yang-filled technological world moves at uncontrollable speeds, yoga provides the Yin with its thought-filled, breath-inspired postures and meditative qualities.
Every now and then, a yogi mom or yogi doctor will come take my class with one of those beepers (now only used for restaurants), while the rest of us have become slaves to our cell phones out of sheer habit. It’s become hard to determine where that 24-hour availability to every need a friend, family or workmate has and my solace, our solace begins.
At this point in my teaching career, I’ve come across many cell phone addicted yogis.
There is the Down Dog Texter, who thinks I won’t notice the one handed Down Dog. The Final Resting Pose (savasana) Texter whose phone light is like a blinding beacon to their resting yogi neighbors. The Pre-class Loud Talker Yogi, who paces outside the yoga classroom doors with a cell phone glued to an ear, thus forcing students wanting to enter the class to bob and weave their way around this yogi. Loud Talking Yogi is also unaware that his voice carries into the meditative room where most yogis are trying to find their inner calm.
Most recently, I was faced with a new type of cell phone disruption when a female observer walked into my class. She was adorned in heels and fancy clothes; it was obvious she wasn’t going to join the class today. What wasn’t obvious was that she had no idea that using her cell phone while observing my class was not okay!
Rules in the yoga room vary from teacher to teacher. Rules need to be tested, put into action to see if they work for the community, and if they don’t, they need to be tossed.
With the advancement in cell phone technology, rules for cell phones in the yoga room need to be instituted.
I’m not the kind of teacher who likes to tell her students what they should or shouldn’t be doing. I’m more of an advisor. I give just enough information or suggestions with just the right amount of humor, kindness and sarcasm for the student to figure it out on their own. After all, isn’t one of the goals to help empower the student?
I will certainly never become one of those teachers whose classes I’ve attended where a student’s cell phone accidentally goes off and the teacher behaves as if the Anti-Christ just entered the room. This teacher driven behavior only encourages the other non-offending yoga students to continue their glare at the guilty, panic stricken yogi whose phone accidentally went off.
Relax, isn’t that what we’ve come to learn and do? It’s a phone. Accidents happen. There are way more serious crimes against humanity to go and feel judgmental about and the cell phone ring, disturbing as it is during a yoga class, isn’t one of them.