Fire Alarm Moments

By Tara Casagrande

A few weeks back, during a class I was leading, a very loud fire alarm sounded in the studio just as we were beginning to move into our final relaxation pose, savasana.

We come to yoga for peace and serenity.  That day, peace and serenity were not what we received. It was interesting to see the reactions of the students. One person flew from their mat in high distress. Many of us covered our ears as we made our way outside of the building. As the screaming sirens of ambulances and fire trucks raced toward the front entrance, many thoughts went through my mind.

“Darn...what a terrible ending to a great class.”

“Ok, you are the owner of the studio, all these people are your responsibility.  How can you make them feel safe and relaxed again?”

“How can I recover this class?”

Outside in the sunshine and with a gentle wind blowing, we sat down on the patio tiles and closed our eyes. I decided to lead a gentle stretch and meditation. There was chaos and noise all around and, yet, we were able as a group to remain centered.  After our experience we all shared. What we learned was remarkable.

Many of us come to yoga for the “Fire Alarm” moments. Yoga helps us to deal with those moments when everything is not going so perfectly. When everything is peaceful and going well, it is easy to live centered and peacefully. The work is in the messiness of life. That day, we learned that all we needed to do was to slow down, to breathe deeply and to center ourselves. The practice of yoga is more difficult to get to during the chaos and the noise; however, these are the times we need it the most.  And during the peaceful, easy times in our lives, our practice helps us prepare for when the fire alarms of life sound.