There’s something about how Tuesdays tend to wash out that leaves me feeling washed up. Today certainly fit the rule — fighting an uphill battle to keep up with the work and keep on with a sense of calm. And it reminds me that the worst work shift I’ve ever had was when I was a relatively new reporter, working nights Tuesdays through Saturdays. I started off the week feeling hopelessly behind, since everyone else was already grooving through their week. When Saturday came, I felt left out — working in a nearly empty newsroom, wishing I were somewhere else, and wondering why I had gone into this field in the first place. (Happily, I didn’t have to stay in that shift for long, and moved to a Sunday through Thursday shift, which I absolutely loved.)
Students who practice Ashtanga in a very traditional Mysore style aren’t taught new postures on Tuesdays (and Saturdays are days of rest). In some languages, Tuesday is named after Mars, god of War — think Spanish Martes.
Is there something to Tuesdays — does it draw out conflict and anxiety? Is it coincidence? Is it superstition? Maybe it’s what psychologists call confirmation bias — a tendency to find evidence to confirm a preconception.
Or maybe it doesn’t matter, because it can give people a reason to join together to celebrate something bigger. Every Tuesday morning at the Ashtanga Yoga Center (I promise that I will some day write a blog post that does not mention AYC!), for instance, yogis gather to sing the Hanuman Chalisa, a devotional to the Hindu deity Hanuman, the monkey king. The chalisa is thought to protect and liberate. If you hear “Jai Hanuman” — victory to Hanuman — join in for the spirit of the moment. Victory to the qualities of service, loyalty and compassion in others and in ourselves, no matter what our belief system. The first time I heard the chalisa during my training at AYC, it almost brought me to tears (and I am really, really not a crier). I don’t know where these feelings came from, but it was a wonderfully refreshing way to spend a Tuesday.