A pink taxi

A pink taxi

May 27, 2011


My six year old daughter told me about her gym session at school.
"- we hummed, she told me
- what does that mean? I asked. She certainly seemed too young for any esotheric activity.
- its meditation! You have to close your eyes, breath and only see white."

They are teaching her escapism early, I laughed.

I certainly attend bikram yoga and aim for escapism. To be in that white zone my daughter so exactly explained. It took her 6 years of maturity and 1 introductory session to school-yoga to understand that. It took me forty years and 3 years of bikram yoga to reach that zone.

At first, I went into the heated room with the idea that positive thoughts would lead me to nirvana. I always kept the scene of Johnny Depp in the film Blow in my head. He smuggles drugs through airports. When he has to go through customs he keeps thinking of the beach to overcome his anxiety.
Marine landscapes, I built in my head while holding challenging poses. But seeking escapist pictograms while being in that moment was defeating the purpose! I soon came to realize that yoga was about "not thinking at all", being in the "white zone" so well described by my daughter.

I took savasnah out of the hot room to random, albeit rare moments of my day, when I tuned off completely to relax, to nap. No reading to distract me, just lay down, close my eyes and instantly be "out".

There is no denying that reading is escapism. I hold on my books like my youngest son holds to his safety blanket at bedtime. Difference is my book is a reassurance I carry in my handbag: I can hide behind its cover, seek solace in its poetry and experience bliss. I have saved my favorite authors for more stressful times, rationing my read so the book lasts the time I need it "for escapism".

Prime time 8pm French news is the best example for escapism. After a long summer day with three kids in tow, I drop everything and everyone and watch the news for a 30 minutes "me-time" ritual. It is a strange way to relax to listen to the microproblems of France and their summer festivities, but its escapism nonetheless!

While I don't own an ipod, I listen to to the radio enough to listen to music, to discover new tunes. Indeed, music is the ultimate escapism. Frequently, I will dance along at a red light!

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