Lighten Your Load
On a recent trip to California for a family celebration, I found myself at the far end of the baggage carousel, waiting for my luggage along with three other planeloads of travelers. I had had an uneventful flight, including a few moments of sweaty-palmed traveler's nerves that I had carried right to baggage claim.
At the end of the room, there was a woman, probably in her mid- to late-60s, who had taken off her shoes and laid her jacket out on the floor. She was stretching to the sky, bowing low, lunging back, lowering down to the floor, arching open her heart and downward dogging through a few sun salutations. I may be talking out of turn, but she did not seem to me to be the kind of woman who posted bikini-clad beach-bound handstand pics on Instagram or peddling her own line of fitness clothing. She was simply doing what she felt she needed to do. She paid no attention to on-lookers and even inspired a few people to stretch quads and bend their travel-weary bodies.
I sat down not too far from the woman, breathing deeply in time. I felt more relaxed and sweetly excited to see my family. I also felt as if I was in the presence of a real teacher, as I learned a lot on the (probably dirty) carpet of the baggage claim at the international terminal of SFO: remember what works for you; it doesn't matter who's watching; stay dedicated to what you know to be true. No matter how heavy the baggage you're dragging around, making time for your practice can really lighten your load.