Saturday, April 13, 2013

(Probably) totally useless idea: Every shopping mall should have a yoga studio and/or meditation space

This idea just occurred to me. This afternoon, I drove about an hour to come to this slightly bigger city slightly north of where I am in Idaho, in order to come to the Barnes & Noble bookstore here to grade some exams and maybe look up some books. I had to come here, because if I had gone to the coffeeshop that I usually go to, I would probably get sucked into a game of chess. And, given my lack of will-power when it comes to playing chess, one game would probably lead to another, and before I know it, the entire afternoon would be taken up by a seemingly endless series of chess games. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, except that I wasn't hired by my present employer to play chess...  

Anyway, to cut a not-so-long story short, this is why I decided that in order to get some serious work done, I needed to get away from my usual place, even if that meant driving an hour. The Barnes & Noble is located in this shopping mall. Nothing really unusual or fancy, just your more-or-less average suburban shopping mall, with the usual array of stores (Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secrets, American Eagle, Forever 21, etc., etc.). After grading exams for a couple of hours (and frankly, feeling like I might lose my mind if I so much as look at another exam; oops, should I even be saying this?...), I decided to take a break by walking aimlessly through the mall. As I did so, all the sights and sounds and smells of the average suburban mall filed into my senses. After about twenty minutes of this sensory overload, I decided that grading exams is actually not such a bad activity, and made my way back to the relative sanctuary of the Barnes &Noble. Oh gosh, seriously... how do people walk around in a mall for an entire day?

And then it occurred to me: Many mall-goers probably suffer from tired feet and over-loaded minds, and probably aren't even aware of it themselves. They just keep making themselves go and go, and go some more. And then it occurred to me that the mall would be the one place on earth (well, maybe not the one place on earth, but probably close enough...) where people could seriously use some yoga and meditation. You know, maybe somebody should set up a yoga/meditation studio in every mall which provides a sanctuary for the tired feet and overloaded shopper's mind. As much as I am ambivalent about the commercialization of yoga and the accompanying commodification of spiritual practices, I really think this might do many people a serious service. A chain/franchise of mall yoga studios (Yoga and Body Works? Forever Yoga?). I wonder why no yoga entrepreneur out there has thought of this yet; it's looks like there's serious money to be made here... Well, come to think of it, Lululemon has come up with a version of this. A couple of years ago, I heard that they were providing in-store yoga classes at their stores. Are they still doing it?

Anyway. As you can see, this is one of those neither-here-nor-there posts. More later.