Fresh from a yoga session, (or, if we're being honest, here...actually more like "slightly-damp-and-mildly-rumpled", but whatever...) I usually make a valiant attempt to carry the spirit of om and namaste and all that...zen-y...stuff...away from the studio and out into the world at large. That is, if I even remember my noble goal, after I've rolled up and stowed my mat, re-clothed myself with discarded socks and shoes and jacket, and briskly marched to my car. Let's face it, by that time (approximately all-of-2-minutes past the conclusion of our practice) my mind is already skittering ahead to the next item on the agenda...which is generally known as "lunch". Okay, okay, you've forced me to confess that as soon as the class becomes the teensiest bit challenging (most Fridays, this occurs no more than 5 minutes into the 75 minute stretch, but who's counting? Oh right: that would be ME) I motivate myself by planning where I'm going to eat when it's over. Hey, it's sort of contemplative...in its own way...right? (Yeah, I didn't think so either. Oh well...)
Speaking of which, mediation tends to be recommended as an enriching, peaceful, healthy activity...which occasionally I consider trying to master. Then my inner Reality Girl snorts derisively while metaphorically slapping me upside the head at the very idea that I could sit quietly, focus on my breathing, and banish all intrusive, attention-hogging thought-tornadoes for an extended period of time. (Wait, do naps count? 'Cuz I absolutely ROCK at those! No? Darn it...) The instructor this morning owned up to having her own case of "jumping thoughts" and identified it--in what I'm sure is 100% official Ancient Yoga Terminology--as (are you ready for this?) Monkey Brain. L-O-V-E it! So cute! So descriptive--like a monkey swinging from branch to branch, grabbing fruit, or chasing their playmates, or whatever silly primates do in their spare time. And that might just describe me a smidge...or a lot.
To illustrate, here's just a sample of what popped up randomly in my whirling cranium while I was supposed to be calm and centered on nothing but my body's flowing movements: "Hmm, should I go to CalTort today? I'm in the mood for a salad"; "My palms are sweaty" (in my defense, I'll bet this occurred to everyone, as the room was unusually warm and humid due to the rainy weather outside); "No way, lady--that twisty pose is NOT gonna happen unless my limbs magically become a heck of a lot more bendy in the next several seconds" (I'm always grateful when these kinds of statements remain inside my head...unless the teacher is telepathic, I'm safe...and she didn't glare at me, so I'll assume it's all good...); "I wonder if this would be an okay time to take a break and blow my nose, because if I don't, I'm afraid it's going to drip on my mat" (and of course the related "Stupid! Pollen!"); "Wow, that person next to me can tie herself up like a pretzel! Impressed...also more than a little bit jealous...". And finally, during the winding-down of the practice, supposedly the point when the superfluous "junk" has been cleansed from your physical and mental being: "Ooh, I love this song! I haven't heard it in such a long time. I forget who the artist is, but I'm pretty sure we have it on CD somewhere at home. I'd like to look for it later and play the whole thing"...and then I proceeded to croon the words in my head. Sigh...I. Am. Hopeless. (But I was completely relaxed, content, and entertained, so that counts as a successful yoga experience, yeah? Oh, and someone ELSE asked for the name of the singer. Van Morrison, in case you were wondering. Feel better? I know I did...)
So evidently I'm a terrible yogini, with minimal capability of reaching a trancelike state...but on the plus side, I'd been suffering an uncharacteristic case of Writer's Block for days now (so weird--usually I can be counted on for a whole lot of nonsensical rambling once I get started tapping on a keyboard) until the helpful monkey...in my brain...woke up and stirred the creative juices...or something like that. So I guess it's a positive thing? Ooh, that reminds me of the song by Peter Gabriel, Shock the Monkey...which we have in our CD collection...where we also store Van Morrison...gotta go! (Thanks, Monkey!)