In Chicago we love our yoga. We are dedicated. We have to be, especially in a Chicago winter. We will bundle up in down parkas and walk through parking lots of slushy, icy mess in our flip flops carrying our gym bags and yoga mats to take a class with our favorite teacher. Our yoga is sacred to us. We go to class to de-stress, clear our heads, take a break from a busy day and perhaps find peace.
We leave the outside world outside the yoga studio. Well, most of us do. A few years back, I belonged to a gym in Arlington Heights (part of a huge chain across the country, which shall remain nameless) that had just started including yoga as part of it's group fitness class offerings. At my second or third time to a class there, I saw a woman take a call on her cell phone during the class. Seriously! It was near the end of the class and as we were all lowering ourselves over our front leg in One Legged King Pigeon pose, a woman's cell phone went off and she answered it! She simply lowered herself down to her elbows and took the call.
The rest of us looked around at each other with raised eyebrows, but no one said a word. Most impressive, though, was the fact that the instructor didn't lose her flow. She continued to cue the class and when she finally caught the eye of cell phone yoga woman, the teacher instructed her to exit the class with a curt nod towards the door.
I was impressed both by the ability of the instructor to handle the situation with such grace (she didn't even say anything about it after class was over) but mostly by the audacity of cell phone yoga woman to think it was okay for her to answer the phone in class. Of course, I thought about the fact that she might have been a physician on call whose skills were needed in order to save a dying patient or perhaps she was taking a call from someone in jail and this was their one phone call to make or maybe someone close to her was gravely ill. Were these situations possible? Sure, but not likely.
Recently this situation popped back into my head, because I'm currently enrolled in a yoga training. A few minutes before the start of class last weekend, I heard my phone bleep with an alert about a Twitter post. Of course, I promptly silenced my phone, but it got me to thinking about cell phone yoga woman and cell phone etiquette. Cell phone etiquette rule number one: If you are anywhere around other people where your phone will bother them or disturb them in any way, silence it or turn it off!
Especially in yoga class. Where there only calls you should be getting are from the Divine.