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Barriers and Connections

15th November 2016

The other day, taking a short break from teaching yoga in Walton on the Hill, I was boarding a ferry bound for France. We sat down, but did not notice that we were in the ‘Disco’ area. As the boat pulled away, the DJ started announcing the up and coming programme of entertainment and both my husband and myself glance at each other with unspoken understanding that we would move to another area shortly. It was my impression that a number of other tables felt the same. A sort of collective pulling up the energy drawer bridge so as not to be involved. People sat looking at phones or reading in their own personal bubble. The DJ, to his credit, persevered, (talk about earning your dollar the hard way).

After about 10 minutes – a quiz started. A few people got up and collected a piece of paper and pen from the front of the dance floor. Most didn’t, continuing in the safety of non-communication. Slowly, heads lifted to watch the screen and discussions started at own table level. Gradually, more people nipped across to grab pen and paper. The odd exchange with banter happened between tables. At the end, contact between groups was made by swapping papers for marking. Chats, smiles and laughter and a sort of unity ensued during the rest of the 6 hour journey.

The thing with a pub quiz is that its not worth turning to the web to find out what year The Beatles recorded on the roof at Abbey Road (’69 – I thought ’72), as the prize s a pen! Who am I cheating – nly me. But it takes away the obstacles we build up and allows a bit of fun and connectivity with a complete stranger.

So my train of thought then equated the genial pub quiz with yoga and its philosophy – as that is where my thought processes normally end up. To me yoga is about learning who I am and my connection with the rest of the world. Smiles and laughter are a great battering ram to opening up barriers.