Something unexpected - and unsettling - happened to my yoga practice when I started yoga teacher training. My mind no longer goes blessedly blank when I'm on my mat or stills when I unfurl in savasana. It chatters. On and on and on and on like Tobias who hasn't stopped talking since the day he learned how.
In Buddhism, it's called the monkey mind and luckily it's something I've never been cursed with.
I have a teacher who is fond of telling the class to stop thinking of their day ahead or the day before. Stop writing to-do lists, she tells us. Stop rehashing old arguments, past grievances. Focus on this moment. Right now. The burn in fierce pose. The muscle shake in plank.
I always smile. I am here, I think to myself. I'm on this mat now and nowhere else because this mat is always where I want to be.
I hear my breath. I see my gaze. I feel my body. I am here.
Except, I'm not as much anymore. I still get lost during the practice - mostly - and I still fail to see friends on nearby mats. But I don't float away in savasana like I used to. I can't place my thoughts in the imaginary basket that washes them down the stream anymore.
Maybe it's because I feel overwhelmed by the information we've been fed these last few weeks - philosophy, anatomy, sutras, the flow, cues, hands-on assists. It's muddled my mind and thrown me off balance, in actual practice and, to be honest, outside the studio too.
I skipped class today. I think I'll skip again tomorrow and maybe even the next one too. I may dig in the dirt or, better yet, go for a ride through the woods, take my yoga practice away from the mat for a few days, see if I can outride the mind monkey.