Yoga doesn’t just happen on the mat. Sometimes yoga takes place on the runway when the flight is delayed. Other times yoga occurs during the wee hours of the night while up tending to a sick kiddo. Today, yoga occurred in the waiting room.

I have been here before: settling into the weight of anticipation, and the wait of outcome. The mind can race or become polluted by continuous episodes of HGTV playing on the room’s TV. The heart may strain. But if we are wise, we will come back to our practice.

I call to mind words of one of my teachers, Rolf Gates, to “be firm and relaxed, steady and sweet, effortless and focused.”

Yoga in a waiting room involves settling into the body, quieting the mind, and connecting to the spirit. Today, my yoga looks like this:

I set an intention of kindness towards self.

I put away my phone and withdraw my senses from other distractions.

I cultivate a breath is that is quiet, smooth, steady, and equal on inhale and exhale.

I scan my body and notice where I am holding. Then I send my breath to unravel the knots of tension.

I notice how and where my mind rests, frequently calling awareness back to here and now, just THIS moment.

I surrender to this event as something beyond my control and practice letting go again and again. No amount of thinking wills my preferred outcome, nor does it benefit my ability to be present in my loved one’s recovery.

Then I let go more. Savasana in a waiting room chair may look as though I have drifted off. However, I am actually deep within. Following the thread of awareness through my layers, I yoke to my innermost core. Here is where peace resides.

You too may relate to that feeling after savasana. The lightness, contentment, even joy. The teacher does not bestow that feeling. It is within you. Always. It’s the feeling that results from the yoking of mind, body and spirit. It’s always there but takes a method, like yoga, to reveal.

The waiting room is a good place to practice yoga. Yoga doesn’t just happen on the mat.


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