Embracing Insanity: Breaking Down Barriers at the Airport

19 08 2011

Imagine a group of totally blissed-out, happy folk.  Can you see them?  Maybe they’re relaxing by the beach, rocking out at a concert or stretched out in bed.  They’re definitely not sitting by a gate at the airport waiting for their delayed flight.

Airports tend to be super stress-filled locations – too much hustling, bustling and people wishing that they were anywhere else.

I’ve had this crazy idea for a while and – last Monday – I finally worked up the guts to put my idea into action.

10:30 am:  I walk around to eight different airport gates, announcing that there will be a group stretch class in the open space by A43 in 15 minutes.  “If you’re thinking about coming, you should.  It’s going to be awesome!”

10:45 am:  I announce once more that the class is about to begin.  Three or four women trickle over and I begin focusing everyone on their breath.

10:50 am:  The crowd gets bigger as we begin to stretch our upper bodies.  I notice seniors participating from their seats and some teenagers whipping out their cell phones to get this on video.  (I don’t have any photos – sorry!)

11 am:  The class is 30+ and growing.  We get to the end of the class where I share the importance of laugher and ask the group to join me in a moment of larger than life, totally silly belly laughter.  The group erupts in hysterics – mostly from watching me make a fool of myself – and we close the class a couple of minutes later with a few moments of meditation.

Leading A Group Stretch In the Negev (The Desert in Southern Israel) During Sunrise

Leading A Group Stretch In the Negev (The Desert in Southern Israel) During Sunrise

I was slightly terrified in the minutes leading up to the class (“God, what have I done? I could have just been sitting here reading…”), but the natural high that I experienced following the class was unreal.  The artificial barriers separating this group of 30+ people was broken down, even if only for 15 minutes, and all left with smiles on their faces and breathing deep.

I did it!

posted by ayo

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9 responses

19 08 2011
Brenda Auch

I think you are completely nuts. But please take that as the very sincere compliment that it is. The world needs more nuts willing to take a chance! 🙂

19 08 2011
miriam

AmyO, you’re awesome, I will now come to every airport with the hope of being called to your class.

19 08 2011
libertatemamo

Very cool! Love what you did there!
Nina

19 08 2011
Bernie

And no one from TSA came to investigate and protect us from unauthorized stretching? 🙂 You are really something! Keep it up.

19 08 2011
Talia

ha ha, you are awesome! and a bit crazy. in a good way. Love, Talia

19 08 2011
Kate

…Ayo, I think I’m in love. 😉

20 08 2011
Briana

I am totally impressed with you. That is awesome and inspiring!

22 08 2011
Barbara

I’m always impressed by uninhibited people, but what’s even more impressive is that you did it even with having doubts. You brought joy to a lot of people, even if they didn’t join in.

19 09 2011
ayo

Thanks for all the love! 😀

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