Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The Itchy & Scratchy Show
The other night, as I was teaching class in my studio, I had an itch on my arm & scratched it. No big deal. No big deal, that is, until I noticed that it continued to itch...and itch. And in the spot where I had scratched, hives developed.
Still not a big deal. And then the other arm started to itch. And about 15 minutes into a hot & sweaty (awesome!) 75 minute class, both arms were itchy & I had hives.
It was distracting. The class was hot & sweaty & so was I . And the hotter & sweatier I got, the more I itched. It was very distracting. I wasn't sure why I was itchy...thinking about it was distracting. Thinking about what had caused the reaction...also distracting. Thinking about NOT scratching...still distracting.
All I wanted to do was leave the room (not an option). Or scratch like crazy. Also not an option.
So I kept on teaching. The itching persisted. Around the 45 minute mark I remembered that I had carried a big box up the stairs when I came in. I couldn't imagine what was on the box that would make me itch & break out in hives (the possibilities are endless & all pretty icky to think about). Still, knowing what had probably caused it was a bit of a relief. I managed to refrain from scratching.
The itching didn't stop & I kept on teaching. At some point, the hives & the itch stopped being distracting. Not being able to do anything about it stopped being distracting. There was an itch. It wasn't going away. I wasn't going to scratch it. I was just going to hang out with the sensation & keep doing what I was doing.
We all get the itch, in one form or another. The urge to do something! To react, to move, to speak. In class, the itch can be the urge to get out of that uncomfortable pose, instead of hanging out with the uncomfortable sensation. In life, the itch can be the urge, the need, to say something to fill an awkward silence. To make a quick change as a knee-jerk reaction to something that isn't quite right in your life. Not scratching, not speaking, not reacting, not trying to change someone or something...just being present with what is. That's my yoga. Still in the studio, but off my mat.