home practice. what could be more ideal? nothing but you and the silence of your surroundings. no being subjected to the endless chatter of some talky teacher. no being distracted by the sweaty, smelly masses around you. just you, your mat, and your practice.
or, if you’re me…jackhammers. just me, my mat, my practice and big, loud jackhammers…right outside my window. for three months straight.
to some, that might sound like hell. to me…well, it also sounded like hell. but it also taught me a hell of a lot.
here’s the thing: it’s really easy to practice when things are quiet and serene. it’s easy to practice to the sounds of tibetan singing bowls by the soft light of a candle. but practicing to the urban soundtrack of jackhammers and exploding concrete every day….that’s not just asana. that’s real life.
when you are jumping into a handstand and your whole building suddenly jolts as its foundation is blown to smithereens…that’s real life.
when you are meditating to the sounds of large condo chunks being tossed into an unforgiving metal dumpster…that’s real life.
when you lie down in savasana and it sounds like world war three…that’s real life. (and it’s like getting a little massage from a cheap vibrating hotel bed, too….not that i would know).
you want to know what i discovered in those three months? that life is noisy…and messy…and sometimes jolting…and it’s unpredictable and unpleasant and it can also be downright offensive.
but you can’t escape that shit (pardon my french). it’s gonna hit the fan and it’s gonna spray your way.
so what are you going to do?
run away to the bahamas? hell, no.
life, folks. live it. sometimes it’s awesome. sometimes it sucks. but noise is noise. the external noise is way less disturbing than the internal stuff, after all. maybe learning to handstand with jackhammers is just what the guru ordered.
keep calm and asana on.