Today, while teaching one of my great groups of yogis, I got to see observe one of the students have a very tangible, funny, and all too familiar encounter with the wonderful mind.
The theme of class was focusing on establishing steadiness and cultivating a deeper focus on the navel center. The transition from Warrior 1 into Warrior 3 went particularly smoothly for one of the students and I was so impressed at how completely steady, powerful, and connected to the moment he was.
Just as soon as the moment came, it left, and he was falling all over the place trying his best to stay balanced in the pose. He went from being on the cover of Yoga Journal magazine to being one of those kids toys where you press the sides of the handle and the animal collapses in a million pieces.
Nothing he could do could help him recreate or reclaim that moment of true yoga that he’d experienced just moments before. I asked him if his mind had played any part in his yoga breakdown and he laughed and said yes. As soon as he realized he was having this moment of steadiness and clarity, instead of just being in it, his mind decided to insert itself (and mess things up!)
I had a similar experience when I was a young yogi. I was working on the arm-balancing Crow Pose and I’d been struggling with it for some time. That particular day, in my home studio, I somehow landed the posture and it was GOOD! My mind immediately went to giving myself huge congratulations.
A voice in my head screamed, “YOU ARE THE MOST AMAZING YOGI EVER!!!!” As soon as my mind had tooted it’s own horn….BAM! I took the most painful face plant to the floor. All I could do was laugh at myself even though I was pretty sure I had broken something (don’t worry I didn’t.)
Do you ever notice that pesky mind of yours getting in your way and inviting itself to a party that it’s not on the guest list for? Instead of judging yourself for allowing your mind to get you off track, see if you can develop an awareness of that mind and all that it does. Watch it like you’re watching a sitcom and get to know how that mind of yours works…that’s the first step in becoming better at steadying it!
Meg Townsend E-RYT500