Cities

Tehran Bazaar
Tehran Bazaar

It is said that we have enough pranic energy within each and every one of us to power whatever city we live in for a week. How is that for control? Responsibility? And yet, we let ‘our’ cities overwhelm us. We lose our place. I often see very sophisticated, intelligent people lose their stability in a city. In the public eye we mask the instability with suits and books and mp3 players. At home, television. The illusion of control, managing, making choices. Can we be alone for even a minute? It’s no wonder we have insomnia. The moments before sleep can be the only ones where we are truly alone with ourselves.

Here in the city is where we need yoga. And so I stay. And I thank God for that moment at the end of the class, the quiet, the smoothness, when there’s nothing to say. The instabilities have melted a little. But is it enough? Are we only treading water? How can we make different choices in order to live well here? Is it possible to talk to a stranger on the subway, or to release the strangle-hold of fear, or to smile at someone we don’t know?

As a yoga teacher I am accustomed to the grim looks on faces before the class, and am deeply grateful for the relieved ones afterward. Together we have temporarily found our footing. Tomorrow is another day.

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