I just attended yoga class (hot vinyasa, baby--who's your momma now?) at the new building where my yoga studio is, and must say I was quite impressed. The old place was tiny, stuffy, and windowless. Certainly made for a lot of sweating during class, which was good to a degree, but I feared hitting my fellow yogis in the face with an ill-flung foot or arm during some poses.
The new place is fabulous. Large...airy...and views to die for. Huge windows line two walls, affording body-centering and mind-calming vistas of the local mountains, bathed in sunset light if you take the evening classes as I do. Meditation altars are set up around the room...candles flicker on the windowsills...incense tickles the nostrils...music plays, a little too loudly in my ears since I placed my mat right by the speakers, but I managed. I recalled how inspiring and necessary a view is to life. I surround myself with gorgeous natural vistas where I live, and have done so for many years now. I find them balm for my soul, and I imagine most others must as well.
And yet there are millions who choose to live in windowless boxes, enveloped by views of cinderblock and exhaust fumes. (And when I say choose, I use the term loosely, in the greatest stretching of the word's meaning possible. There is always a choice--it just sometimes seems like an untenable one, a fact with which I am quite familiar!) I wonder how truly happy those people are? I'm sure many of them are happy--I'm just wondering how many.
I have to quote Everett Ruess here again:
"I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities." --from his last-known letter, sent to his brother Waldo in 1934.
And that's 'bout all I have to say on the matter. Hoorary for views.