I ended up missing an entire week of yoga practice due to a head cold. I was so happy to be back on at the shala today. Unlike the messy multi-tasking of my daily life, ashtanga has a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Just like a good story:
The sun salutations introduce you to the cast of characters and set the mood.
The main practice is an adventure through the landscape of the body. Many plot twists and interesting characters show up.
The closing sequence creates a satisfying conclusion.
Then you close the book. No more poses. Just rest, then the rest of the multi-tasking day. It is like a bedtime story, only instead of repeating the same familiar words to a child at night, you lead yourself through the same familiar poses each morning.
My mind can be a real brat. Like an overworked parent who is tired of reading the same boring picture book every night, it would go through the motions, then be annoyed when my body still whined or wanted more. My body just wants to learn the story. To feel connected.
So, I want to become a better storyteller. I can’t just flip through the poses in a monotone droll. I have to let myself fully embody each asana. Take the time to admire the pictures. See what kind of reaction my audience – my body – gives me. When its really engaged in the tale, it takes over. And like a proud mama, my mind marvels at how smart my little body has become, reaching deep for those big girl asanas. I now happily repeat the same story every day, because with each telling it becomes new.
It is not the story that’s interesting.
Its the storyteller.
No, it is not even that. It is the connection between the storyteller and her audience. The story itself is just a vehicle. But if you’re going to tell it everyday, it helps to pick one you love.