Learning happens by looking at what goes awry as much as by looking at what flows. In one instance, an argument occurred standing behind strangers in a serpentine security line that merged with several other lines at Newark airport. Only one X-ray machine was working, but there were plenty of guards milling around. Yours truly asked the guards a'milling (and geese a'laying) if they could please open another line, tsk'ing and tutt-ing when none did. A woman and her son in front of me in line turned around, told me to "shut up," and then berated me. Long story short: the boy had been in the U.S. Army. They were completely identified with the Uniforms, so bound with the whole patriotic thing, that they mistook my impatience as a personal insult. So, they insulted me back. I lost my overview. I got angry. I tried my experiment of objectively observing and for a nano-second, I felt compassion for us fools over-reacting with each other over a matter we had no control over. But once the emotional, chemical-electromagnetic chain reaction is let lose in the body, it's really too late.
It's better to disengage from such an interaction than continue to struggle when we're in such a state of imbalance or when either party is so locked into their subjective opinions that there is no room for calm overview. Likewise, when I'm unable to free my breath from the body's tensions and resistances in an asana, when I'm so bound with my thinking that I'm straining on the mat, it's better to just get out of the pose, slip into a rhythmic exercise, and try another time.
What adds to the tension is speaking or talking while in such a chaotic internal state. Words usually just add to the turmoil. Yet that's exactly what most of us do, talk with neither humility nor humor. We either confront without care or compassion, a verbal bulldoze, in some attempt to control or change the other. Or we speak words that carry no truth or even room for the truth to emerge. We'll take a closer look at the throat, the juncture where this very human capacity to voice, to express what's going on within to the outside world, to commune with another, occurs.