Yoga teacher: “Let’s talk about your writing assignment that is due next week.”
Voice inside my head: “Ok. We’ve been talking about this for way too long. This could have been covered in 5 minutes. It didn’t need 30. EFFICIENCY! Let’s get to the workout already!”
Other voice inside my head: “Ummmm…. I think it’s anti-yoga to be impatient during yoga. One doesn’t rush the yoga teacher. It is not the yoga way.”
Yoga teacher: “Focus on being in the present. The past is gone. The future is not guaranteed. The present is the only time you have. The past and the future are nowhere. You need to move from nowhere to now here. Have you ever been driving somewhere and gone right past your destination because you were thinking about something past or future? That’s the kind of think I’m talking about.”
Voice inside my head: “Oh yeah. I do that all the time. I did it just the other day on my way to the faculty day thing. I flew right past Jordan campus because I was thinking about that episode of Star Trek. Which, really, has everything to do with this. It was about a disruption in the space time continuum and the alternate reality which it created. So then I started thinking about that TNG episode where Worf makes a massive split in the space time continuum and thousands of parallel universes start showing up in our own. And I wonder how many alternate realities there could be. Infinite, I’m sure. Because every single little choice sets the future in a direction and an unlimited number of options exist for each choice, each leading toward a different future reality and all branching out in exponential craziness. So certainly parallel universes must exist…..
Other voice inside my head: “Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me! I think we are exponentially far from NOW HERE.”
Yoga teacher: “Let’s start with a meditation chant that will be able to help you calm down in any situation from any negative emotion.”
Voice inside my head: “That’s a pretty big claim. Is there sufficient evidence to back that claim?”
Other voice inside my head: “I’m pretty sure yoga isn’t about argumentation.”
Yoga teacher: “Repeat after me: Ta. Sa. Na. Ma.”
Voice inside my head: “This is just like speech therapy. That’s not good. Recollections of speech therapy are NOT going to bring me to inner peace and stillness. Although, it did require a lot of self-discipline to use those annoying little syllables to rebuild my speech. And I can see the mind/body connection with the voice. But inner peace from these syllables? I think not. More like dredging up turmoil and anguish.
Other voice inside my head: “Let’s see. ‘Ta’ is an unvoiced dental. One of the easier sounds. ‘Da’, being the voiced dental is the easiest sound. ‘Na’ and ‘Ma’ are nasals. Not so easy. They come later in rebuilding speech. ‘Ga’, the voiced guttural and ‘Ka’ the unvoiced guttural, also pretty easy. They are near the beginning. ‘Pa’ and ‘Ba’ the unvoiced and voiced labials can go either way—sometimes easy sometimes hard. The breathing for those are different. Then, let’s see, the aspirates. Which is different from aspirate (long A) because that is choking from inhaling something. Which reminds me that I find these syllables exasperating. So, no. No inner peace and stillness for me from these exasperating, painful-memory-inducing syllables.
Yoga teacher: “Let me tell you a story about living in the moment. The Buddha, in the incarnation right before he became the Buddha, fell over the edge of a cliff and was hanging on to a branch for dear life. He spotted the most perfect, beautiful strawberry. He picked it and ate it and enjoyed it completely. His whole being focused on the experience of eating the strawberry.”
Voice in my head: “I should find this story for my folklore class. It would be good to use. I wonder if our library has it. We do have that whole folklore section up in the library. I bet I could find it.”
Other voice in my head: “You’re doing it again. I don’t think you are enjoying the strawberry of this yoga class.”
Voice in my head: “Strawberry yogurt is gross. I still remember throwing up on it when I was 8. Haven’t been able to eat it ever since. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Strawberry yogurt is vomitous.
Other voice in my head: “Stop it now. Stop thinking about vomit. Stop it now.”
Voice in my head: “SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!”
Other voice in my head: “Serenity now = much better mantra than ‘ta, sa, na, ma’. But really, I’m content with my current life mantra: MUTINY!”
Voice in my head: “Oh yes. We’re accomplishing mutiny right now. Good job. FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS ALREADY!”
Yoga teacher: “Ok, let’s get to the work out. Put your mat this way. Stand with your legs hip width apart and breathe deeply. Arms go up with the inhale. Down with the exhale.”
Voice in my head: “Finally. Here we go. I should blog about this. I know just what to write. Too bad I can’t just think it onto my blog right now. Wouldn’t that be great if I could just think something into existence. Blog be written. Laundry be done. Gourmet dinner be on the table. Papers be graded. I could just do all these yoga poses all day long and think things into existence. Surely someday my brain will be able to link to the network and translate my thoughts into text on a page without my fingers having to do anything. Perhaps in one of those parallel universes. Perhaps an alternate reality self of mine can think through the space time continuum and transmit this power to the self of this universe.”
Other voice in my head: “Oy! Be NOW HERE. Be NOW HERE. Not in an alternate dimension. Now here.”
Yoga teacher: “This pose is called the warrior.”
Voice in my head: “Oh yeah! That’s what I’m talking about! I know this pose from Wii fit.
Other voice in my head: “I told you video games were not part of the dark side. Use the force. Use the force and focus on your yoga.”
Voice in my head: “And think blog entries into existence?”
Other voice in my head: “I think you’ve gone to the dark side of the force. Pay attention already.”
Yoga teacher: “Now, place both hands on the ground in this position. Both feet here. Then slide the left knee up between your hands, then roll onto your hip. Lift your chest.”
Voice in my head: “The human body can do that?”
Other voice in my head: “You have our full attention now.”