Today’s meditation and asana practice was marked by a serious confrontation. No, I didn’t master a major pose, reach enlightenment, or make a major emotional breakthrough. I just conquered a bat with the help of my yogi friends. Let me explain. This morning, as always, was begun with an early-morning meditation. After the completion of our meditation process (in which my focus waned as I struggled with my own inner demons) I headed to the bathroom to prepare for our physical asana practice. A little sleepy and in a daze, I opened the door only to have a large, brown, winged creature fly at my head. I pushed my way back through the revolving door with a look of utter surprise and horror only to run into the line of fellow yogis behind me who looked at me with puzzled faces. Since, like all the other mornings, we were asked to remain silent until after the asana practice, I didn’t know what to do so I just flapped my arms like wings and pointed. The confused looks quickly changed as soon as the bat flew over the revolving door and everyone quickly ducked into plank pose or chaturanga. One brave soul waved the bat out into the hallway and we quietly filed into the studio…. Albeit, more awake and jumpy than we left. So there we were, about 10 minutes into the practice when all of the sudden, another bat starts flying around the room. Chaos ensued, people started talking, ducking, jumping, and screaming (although one guy continued with his practice for quite some time before succumbing to the crowd mentality. Another guy was being very yogic and standing calmly at the edge of his mat saying that the bat was just afraid and wouldn’t hurt us when the bat flew directly into his legs. Needless to say, he ended up on the floor with the rest of us. The entire time I sat there laughing to myself. I couldn’t help it. Here we were in this yoga bubble trying to confront our inner demons when we became confronted with an animal which many consider to be somewhat of a monster. While I too cringed as it came in my direction, I couldn’t help but note the fact that this creature was merely a startled animal. All of our screaming, hiding, and running away was not helping the situation. Life is that way sometimes. We have all tried to run from our problems or bury them away deep down inside to hide them from ourselves and the rest of the world. This never solves anything, and eventually it comes back to haunt you, even if subconsciously. As with the bat, it takes a calm, focused mind to break this vicious cycle. One of the more nature-friendly yogis grabbed a towel and after several minutes was able to catch the exhausted bat and bring him out of the studio so we could resume our practice with even more emotional fervor. At the end of the day, we found the bat sleeping quietly in the corner of the lobby and we caught it and set it free outside. On second thought, maybe I did reach a bit of enlightenment, and make a major emotional breakthrough in meditation today. Sometimes you have to stop hiding from the things, people, emotions, and ideas that scare you. Then, perhaps, you can let the proverbial sleeping bat lie.