Make the mind
A single point.
I took a yoga class recently and after sitting cross legged for the first 30 seconds of class meditation I tried to settle into a few minutes of quiet and let my mind go. As soon as I did, my mind began to churn. Things I had to do raced past me…lists of things to accomplish….then even deeper: fears, worries and career, children, money, job…… It was like a little gremlin had crawled in my ear and was running around pulling all the things off the shelves in my mind. I tried to clear the slate….a nice cleansing breath in and out….Phew….trying again. As soon as I relaxed…the gremlin was back. I started to get angry….I am supposed to be meditating!!!! I am a beacon of white light dammit! The harder I tried-the further away the quiet place I was seeking went. I thought- well…..I guess I’m not going to meditate today. Fine, I’ll just sit here and hope we start moving soon. Hmmmmm. The gremlin was gone. I had to let go of my expectations and just be in the moment. I wasn’t in a deep meditative state with white light and angels or anything……but my mind was clear and I again had a focused center. The teacher spoke from the front of the room…set an intention for class today. I chose release. It was a great class.
I took this pic when I was working on a show out of town. It was on a bulletin board in a quiet little studio that I found to warm up in before my entrance. I remember seeing it and thinking..wow! Never heard it put like that before. As a dancer, I know that the thousands of hours at the barre in ballet, or the classes in a studio, or the weeks of rehearsal before a show opens- are part of the journey to seek perfection. But I never REALLY thought about how each moment you spend on learning or trying something new…you are adding to your knowledge and mastery of that thing. It made me think…What do I spend my time on? If you spend time on negativity and pain, you will become an expert at that. If you spend time on growth and happiness, you will master that. In Yoga we are taught to say I “practice” yoga. Because ultimately-there will always be something to work on-something to learn. I like that idea. It mirrors the human condition…perfectly flawed. And excellence does become a habit because it becomes your own normal. Cool!
Well here I am about to embark on a long journey forward into unknown territory.
Writing this blog is the first step! The other is – I have decided to take a month off from my performing career and focus on my yoga teacher certification and most importantly do something other than perform. I have been a Broadway performer and actress for 16 years now (whoa-how did that happen?) and my entire adult life has always revolved around 8 shows a week….auditions….rejection and triumph. Wonderful….but…..needing more. Yoga has been a constant love/escape for me. First I started taking yoga classes to do something other than dance–which I have done since I was 2…..what do you really do when you are 2 and dancing you ask? Butterfly……..fairy princess…..? But point being -for me I have always had focus and a goal. I have practiced yoga for 10 years now and I still learn something about yoga and myself every time I do a downward dog. Well, I continue to set new goals for myself as a performer–so when the opportunity arose for me to truly focus on yoga…..I jumped at the chance. Leapt is more like it—leaping into the big, dark void of the unknown and the mysterious, ancient yoga sutras and becoming a gently focused person……..should be interesting. I will share my experience here of becoming a yogini, a (hopefully) great teacher and most of all my daily explorations that might help someone find their path too. Should be fun….let’s see what happens!