I have been thinking about it the whole day, since I got up grumpy and angry at the world, this morning. I came back the night before from a business trip to Bonn with a colleague and the unreliable train connection from Berlin meant getting up early and coming back late at night, leaving no space for private life. The trip to Bonn was punctuated by calls, which interrupted the last revisions of the presentation. The slow internet connection tensed my body proportionally to the distance the train was still going to cover. I had been sloppy in my work and I was afraid of lacking the time needed to fix my slides. At each station I held my breath, unconsciously. Gasping for air after a few minutes, I then inhaled deep and loud, as I never allow myself to during a meditation session. I expected to have some quiet time during the return trip, but I did not consider the enthusiasm of my young colleague for his newly born. Faking a nap did not interrupt the flow of words as he intermittently spoke on his handy with his wife, aunt, cousin, friend and chatting with an equal amount of people, letting his WhatsApp notifications beeping like a car alarm.
I turned off the office light and with eagerness I took the metro to the yoga studio. The metro was overflowing with people who matched my grumpiness or even surpassed it. When the screaming baby got on, I consciously started focusing on my breathing. In, out, in out. It is all an illusion, the screaming, the smell, the grumpy people.
Somehow, I managed to get off keeping my blood pressure to an acceptable range, and I walked in the darkness of the late afternoon to my favourite building. Here, on the third floor, I would find my peace, my own self, my balance.
I quickly changed into my clothes and instead of joining the group for a cup of tea in the common room, I went to the meditation room. I was early and I was pleased to see the room still empty, the pillow with my favourite colour still available. I sat down with a sigh and pulled my legs closed to me, to let them get accustomed to the Burmese position first. I closed my eyes, and I observed my breathing getting finer, even, deep in my belly. My mind emptied and with each breath I started peeling off the stress of the previous day. Gone was the time pressure, the sloppy work, the constant chattering in the train. The gong resounded in the room, now half full, and I accommodated myself in half lotus to enjoy one hour of motionless peace. As time went by, a rush of energy invaded my body, charging my brain with something beyond words. I was home.