Sometimes a vivid and colourful mind is a blessing during yoga practice, sometimes a curse.
Thoughts float into my mind unbidden and I don’t stop them coming. This has led to some weird and wonderful realisations, profound ideas, pictures of my future and interesting occurrences. Once as I was sitting in my moment of quiet post-practice (which I traditionally use to practice gratitude but can become a bit automatic...) the Lord’s Prayer popped into my brain. Weird, I thought, but I let it continue, recited from the age of 5 at Sunday school in a strange stylised fashion. When I go to a kirtan I tend to find I can think clearly and have had some great realisations there – so I forgive my brain for not being quiet (if you can’t be still, at least say something worth saying). Feelings of resistance pop up during practice, moments where I want to run from the room, but I don’t consider these bad thoughts, just intriguing: where they pop up (and why) comes and goes over time.
The most frequent unwanted thought during practice always comes near to the end. “There’s nothing left to dread” it says. Intellectually speaking, I don’t like this thought, and wouldn’t say that I even consciously agree with it. I don’t feel like I dread
anything very much in practice, certain postures have moments of hesitation beforehand, but no actual dread. There did used to be dread in the run-up to headstand, but not anymore. But still the thought pops in more often than not, usually when I’m most of the way through closing – but not today. Interesting when the thought is there, interesting too when it’s not, but no judgements. It’s hard not to assess these things and just to allow them to come, or not, but that’s what I’m going for.
Savasana has become all about the visualisations. I sometimes used to focus on a point above the third eye, feeling something radiating out from there and covering my body, almost like the readybrek glow. Now it’s a point somewhere right at the centre of my body – since reading about the concept of Buddha mind there’s a strong visual picture of a small gold statue buried deep within me. I peel away the layers to let it’s light shine through, with every exhalation the glow reaches a little closer to the surface until finally it feels like I can barely contain it. It’s like lying in the hot sun, this feeling, and a smile becomes involuntary as I let the light radiate out through my skin, allowing it to reach out beyond my physical body.