With more than fifteen years of yoga under my belt, you’d think I’d be able to turn off the chatter in my mind the minute class begins. Some days it does happen instantly. After the first few minutes of warm-up poses, the chatter magically fades, and the sound of my breathing takes over. I am soon transported to the buoyant land of spaciousness. But that’s on a good day, a really good day. Most days it takes constant effort to push the chatter aside. It’s not simple, and it’s definitely not always because of your own lack of focus. Stupid little things can derail your best de-chattering efforts. Like when you’re resting peacefully before class, already closing the chatter down, and someone drops a rolled up mat next to you with a thud. Or when the chatter comes into the studio from the check-in area, and the conversation level builds to cocktail party volume. Or sometimes your buddy rolls her mat next to yours, and it’s all you can do to keep from starting a little chit-chat. And strangely, when the teacher reminds me again and again to stop the chatter, it pops me out of my chatter-free bubble too. Am I yoga failure?
The guilty truth is that I like a little chatter in my mind. It keeps me company all day and sometimes, unfortunately, all night. Many of my best creative ideas happen in the midst of the chatter. Many of my best worrying happens in the midst of the chatter in the middle of the night. All day long, the chatter helps me solve little and big problems. Flashbacks and memories make me laugh, and they make me cry. So yes, I will try my dragon-breathing best to turn the chatter off during my yoga class, but I can’t promise it will last once I head out the door.