This week I am focusing my summer classes on “wind.” We’ve all gotten to the beach: slugged our chair and bag to the perfect spot, lathered up with sunblock and settled into the comfort of our beach chair or blanket. Then surprise! a good wind kicks up and the sand is stuck all over you. You know you are nodding your head, you’ve been there!
The mind is much like the wind: mysterious, unpredictable, and it can get us in trouble. We think so many thoughts every day but only remember a fraction of them. In yoga we call this ever-moving mind the “chitta vritti” and our practice endeavors to quiet the winds of the mind by marrying our movement with our breath.
I was teaching at Milton Academy one evening this week and I had just gone through this description when suddenly there were fire engines blaring–and not just for a few seconds, it went on for a while. I couldn’t have asked for a better entree! The mind is like those fire engines, always looking for the emergency. It’s not our fault, we evolved that way. As cave men we were always looking for what could take us out, life was so fragile, and our brains haven’t evolved all that much. So it’s a natural thing to see the negative in life and to allow events to feel like they are all emergencies. It makes it that much more important to make some space through our practice to react gracefully or not at all. It’s an act of self awareness to be able to acknowledge this; it’s an ongoing practice.