Pretzel In Pretzel Out: Yoga for the Mind

The last thing I felt like doing today was a physical workout. I thought about painting, writing, working on my vision board, meditating…but my mind is saying “no” to everything. Well, it isn’t that it’s saying “no”, but it’s more like I don’t know what it’s saying. It feels chaotic in there; in my mind. Anything that has to do with stillness is automatically rejected as if it’s a foreign organism that my mind’s white blood cells do not want to deal with at the moment.

As you can imagine, and as I wager you’ve felt, days of this lead up a hill that can become a mountain and will have an apex that you can somewhat form with your actions from this moment in the climb. It is important to remember this, especially now, as you probably feel like it’s just getting more and more chaotic in there.

So what did I decide to do? Well, it so happens that I joined an accountability group a few weeks ago, and we, members, are encouraging each other to workout on a daily basis. It helps to know we are accountable for each other. It also helps that some really awesome people (awesome because of things they say, not just the following…) pop up with prizes for sharing our sweaty pictures, which we can only get by working out. I am particularly keen on winning this prize: a $50 voucher to pamper myself; something I honestly don’t usually do (unless I put hiking on the self-pampering list 🙂 ) So I worked out.

Though I wasn’t sure what the best sweaty workout would be for today, I knew rather quickly that an intense yoga routine would be my answer. It would give me the sweaty picture for the contest, work out some soreness from yesterday’s workout, and subconsciously I knew that it would help undo the pretzel I felt I had in my mind.

I had a hard time staying serene and keeping my face relaxed. I had a hard time not paying attention to my children crawling under me during downward dog, or hearing their screams of disapproval as one took the other’s toy or book. However, slowly, but surely, I sensed that my body and mind were unwinding.

My three-year-old daughter was walking by so I asked her to take a photo of my most pretzel-like position.

After the yoga session was finished I was going to meditate, which is when I realized that all that mental tenseness and chaotic sound was somewhat quieter. That mental pretzel was coming undone, and that apex was becoming more of hill-top; not a mountain summit for which I would need oxygen and special gear.

What is something you do to quiet your mind? What is something you do to find happiness within yourself? Have you experienced anything like this while practicing yoga? 


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