Yoga teachers use a lot of basic cues to get a point across: reach your right hand toward the ceiling, step your left foot to the top of the mat. Un-grip your toes. Straightforward, simple cues. All great, but after a while autopilot can set in. Hand goes up, foot goes forward, toes relax, all without the need for a teacher’s cue.
Practice long enough, often enough, doggedly enough, and the inner autopilot gets so efficient the other thoughts having nothing to do with what’s happening right now on the mat can quickly take over: right foot goes here. I forgot to feed the cat. Belly draws in and up. The brake on my bike keeps squeaking…
So when a teacher throws out a crazy cue like “roll around in the crumbs,” even though it initially makes no sense at all, at least it gets my attention. What the heck is she saying?
Herein lies the magic. Her cue made me stop, pause, and think about what the hell I was doing in the moment. Rolling side to side on my back, yes, but essentially just revisiting the same way I always moved in Happy Baby pose. Rolling around in the crumbs required me to seek something new. To discover a different area in my body. Turns out my right hip flexor popped a little if I moved my knee this way. My left lower back extensor felt amazing when I rolled onto it that way. Little nuances that made all the difference.
Rolling around in the crumbs is just what I needed to hear to keep my practice interesting that morning. But the cool thing is, I thought about it all day. What other small, forgotten crumbs in my life had I been ignoring? Small clues into the soul of my new hometown of Somerville are beginning to emerge after a wicked long winter. Crumbs of character lurk everywhere – the skateboarder and his giant black aging Goldendoodle Apollo, the former textile mill turned home to over 60 working artists, the plethora of kale and quinoa power bowl options bringing out the health geek in me – it’s all here in the crumbs. And providing inspiration to a second blog I have in the works.
And really, it’s the crumbs at the bottom of my cereal box or the remaining flecks of chocolate on the foil wrapper that I savor the most.
Do you have a ‘well said’ to share? Something you heard today that made a difference? I’d love to hear it.