It’s March 30th, first day, and I am nervous as hell. This is YOGA. You’re not supposed to be nervous for yoga! But I am. Not shaky nervous, but if someone asked me a question, I wouldn’t be able to answer nervous. 15 perfect spots lining the sage scented room waiting for us to take a seat. I don’t know anyone & am regretting not studying with the studio longer before signing up for the training. It fell onto your lap, it was the perfect time, everything felt right, you love yoga, so that is why you are here. Be confident in that. Still, tucking my feet, cross-legged, under my knees amongst the 14 other trainees, I feel I am somehow lagging or, worse, not qualified to be here. Truth? You are overqualified. Truth? Did it ever cross your mind that the 14 others are feeling the exact same way? How much you wanna bet they are? Two yoga blocks and a bolster. Hah! I’d raise you my Manduka mat if I owned one. Yes, I’m that confident you are not the only one, so RELAX. This would be an excellent time to work on your breathing. In through your nose, out through your nose, like an ocean, right? Gosh, this girl next to me is going to think I’m a whack job if I’m already making ocean sounds before we’ve even gone through introductions.
“Mind Chatter,” one of our instructors begins, “Citta Vrtti (in sanskrit) is that noise in your head that likes to talk incessantly about anything and everything. It’s a voice that wants to interpret the world, make sense of it for you, judge it, process it, cloud it.”
“If you can hear the chatter, if the noise is happening, that means you aren’t really here. You are somewhere else.”
“But let me ask you, where is the voice coming from?” Some of the more outgoing yogis around me chime in with articulate guesses. Past experience, intuition, genetics, habit, me, why of course the voice is coming from me! To each one the instructor answers with the same question. “But, who are you?” I go searching to my own mind chatter for an answer, but for once it is silent. Great, thanks for checking out at the exact moment I need you. Perfect.
“I am not going to pretend to have the answer.” the instructor says, “I believe it was Rumi that said ‘the longing for the answer is the answer'”.
As I get out onto the sidewalk and shut my car door behind me, an instantaneous flush of breath enters my lungs. Wait a minute, what happened to all that ocean breathing? Was I holding my breath that entire time? Why do you always forget to breath? Isn’t that pretty fundamental? If you were breathing, you would have been able to think more clearly, act more normal, be more you. You must remember to breath more next time. ‘The longing for the answer is the answer.’ That reminds me of Rilke. What is that Rilke quote? Something like ‘…try to love the questions themselves. Like locked rooms and books that are written in very foreign tongue. Do not seek the answers now, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. Live everything. Live the questions. Perhaps, you will gradually, without noticing, live some distant day into the answer’. Wow, I can’t believe you remembered that. Probably not perfectly, but still. Why couldn’t you remember that in class! Such a great quote – true, so utterly and heartbreakingly true. God, that quote would have been a perfect correlation. Nice thinking of it now. How dumb. Why do you always do that? (a moment) Shit. It’s happening again. Hello, mind chatter. I knew you would find your way back.