Swim Lesson #6
I came to the pool for Swim Lesson #6 feeling cranky. It'd been a good morning, actually - I'd just taught two energizing yoga classes. But just before I left the yoga studio to go to the pool, a yoga teacher who came in to teach the next class said a few snarky things, and my mood deflated. It was a good reminder about being careful about the energy we bring with us: her snarkiness snared me, and I brought it with me to the pool. I felt tired, suddenly, and stood on the edge uncertain if I wanted to go in, not feeling like I had the strength for an hour of drills. Though yoga's practice of pratipaksha bhavana says “When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of" (Sutra 2.33), I couldn't manage to flipswitch my mood. I dipped my toe in - the class had already begun warm up laps - and I climbed reluctantly down the ladder. I submerged to my hips, still feeling rotten, and hung on for another minute to the ladder bars, debating whether or not to go in. At last I let go and submerged completely into the sun-filled blue. By the time I pushed back up to the surface, my bad mood had entirely washed away. So lesson #6 was, I suppose, of self-awareness and allowance: be aware of how my mood might influence others, and allow the stark difference of complete submersion to wash away the residue of another's spoiled temper.
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