I was practising yoga out in the Shed this morning with my friend and housemate Heather. What ecstasy to have our own yoga studio a few steps from the house! Pretty much we just roll out of bed and onto the mat, more often than not still in pyjamas.
On some mornings, we single-mindedly, silently, and with gravitas pursue our yoga practice. Other times we have a bit of a goss about the neighbours or our spouses. We have been known to rehash a movie we’ve seen or discuss books. And on occasion, we opine on questions like why, even though you tighten your quadriceps as much as humanly possible, they still hang down in your face when you’re in halasana (plough pose).
Of course, the force of gravity contributes mightily to the jiggly-thigh effect which seems rather a cruel thing in halasana. But then gravity turns out to be a good thing in sirsasana (headstand) because droopy parts, like bellies and busts, assume a more pleasing perkiness.
When I practice on my own, I adore it. There’s a cadence that sometimes arises during my practise that echos my body’s own pulses. In the beautiful natural setting I live in, by the end of my sitting practice, my own rhythms synch with the symphony outside: cicadas, kookaburras, kurrawongs, pheasant coocals, cows, horses and goat.
But I have always loved practising with friends and colleagues, too, for the opportunity to let levity bubble up spontaneously.