The girl on her mat a few rows over who cracks open a can of energy drink in the middle of class. Or the one with a cup of hot coffee that she's sipping before the teacher walks into the room.
The frustrated sounds of a kid next to you sighing and saying I can't do this. The way you notice out of the corner of your eye that he reaches up in High Lunge and then promptly leans to the side and lands on his mat with a loud thump. But, you notice, he keeps going.
The person in the back row who's crying quietly. Or the one near you whose body odor feels overwhelming when experienced in the heat and humidity. Or even, a fart in the middle of class!
The sound of the teacher's bracelets as they clink together every time she walks around the room. The crackling of the speakers playing the music.
These are all real scenarios I've witnessed, by the way ;) When we show up for yoga, we are surrounded by distractions. There's drama. Noise, odd behavior, anxiety and frustration -- all of it shows up in the room at some point or another.
Can we allow ourselves to stay detached from the crazy that's surrounding us, and just stay with our own practice, breath by breath?
Sometimes we ourselves are the ones doing the distracting; we show up late for class and ruffle around in the silence, or we knock over a water bottle during Savasana, or laugh unexpectedly.
What's beautiful is when all these things are happening around us, and we're still able to keep our attention drawn inward. To re-focus again and again on the breath. To let go of our need to control every little thing.
This carries off the mat, too, of course. If I am able to put a breath, a short pause, between the crazy shit that's happening during my day and my reaction to it... that's when I know my yoga is working.