Most of my blog inspiration comes from articles or even just quotes that I read that I am somehow drawn to. So it is for today’s blog. In an article written for yoga teachers, I was captivated by a few sentences. To put it in context, the article was written to teachers to remind them they should understand the scope of the class before they offer to sub. And one of the last paragraphs reminded teachers that “…..sometimes the less is more approach is better. The worst that can happen is that they (the students) will be bored. Bored is OK. Bored is information that stillness is challenging for them. That means yoga might be a wonderful addition to their life”. (Terry Littlefield, Yogadork blog)
Have you ever been bored in a yoga class? I certainly have. I feel like I run at 100 miles an hour all day, every day. My to-do list is always over-flowing. There are always things that “need” to be done and things that I “want” to get done. There are always emails and texts to read and answer, work to do that I didn’t get done when I was at work, house cleaning (which is a never ending battle with 3 dogs), and yard work (now that spring is near). And there are always things that are on the to-do list that are quite fun – but that often become just another task (bike riding, skateboarding, hiking, gardening, etc).
Because of the habitual and toxic pace I’ve set for myself, it is often difficult to settle in a yoga class. Difficult to quiet that monkey mind. Difficult to believe that the world won’t blow up because I took an hour for myself to do yoga. And because of this, I sometimes find myself wanting the pace of the class to move faster. Let’s get on with it, get to the next pose. I feel like I need my yoga class to match the pace of my life. Sometimes I even want class to end so that I can get back to my to-do list. That never-ending to-do list. Surely the world will end if I don’t finish everything on my to-do list. Right?
So, the quote from the article struck a chord with me. Bored is information that stillness is challenging. Boredom is information. We live in a world full of an overwhelming amount of information. Yet this boredom issue seems like important personal information I should take note of. But what am I going to do with this information?
Well, in yoga and meditation, we are taught to acknowledge the thoughts but don’t attach to them. Do not judge yourself for having them. Just bring awareness to them, acknowledge them and then let them go. So, the next time I’m feeling a little anxious to move on to the next pose, perhaps I’ll acknowledge my anxiety and my thoughts and then let go by breathing and relaxing into the current pose. I will try to focus on the pose I’m in rather than anticipating the one we are going to move into. I will focus on my alignment and the physical sensations that come with the pose. I will try to find the joy in this pose. Because the next pose will come in due time. As will the next task on my to-do list.
If I can learn to do this in yoga, pose by pose, then I can learn to do this throughout the day. And that to me is one of the most important things about attending yoga classes. We do not change our toxic thoughts and behaviors simply by attending a yoga class. Much to my chagrin, It does not happen through osmosis. But rather, change happens by trying something in class and experiencing the joy or the success and then taking that same approach outside of the classroom. That’s how yoga changes lives.