Do you tend to put your mat down in the same spot in the yoga studio? Do you arrive a little early just to make sure you get “your” spot? Are you upset when your spot is taken? Do you head for the back row or the edges of the room? What do our habits say about us? Every day, in every class I attend, the back row fills up first, followed by the edges and lastly, when there’s no other choice, do mats land in the front row. This is a disadvantage to the latecomer in a crowded class, as she (or he) finds herself closer and closer to the front and center of the room. Hopefully, she’s not freaking out inside. I actually feel a little sorry for a teacher when she (or he) walks in the door and the students are as far away from the teaching spot as possible. Maybe you’re a front row person, unfazed by it all. Maybe you choose to be by a wall because you have balance issues. Maybe you don’t think about it at all, but I doubt it.
One of the challenges I’m making for myself for my 30-days of yoga is to purposefully plop myself in a new spot every day. I challenge you to do the same. When you’re deep in your flow, like you’re supposed to be, no one’s looking at you no matter where you are. And when you’re in downward dog, the front row’s looking at the back row, and when you’re in upward dog, the back row’s looking at the front row. The experience might be uncomfortable, but it may also be liberating. Yoga is meant to be practiced with a beginner’s mind, and what better way to feel it than from a new perspective.