what Your POOP Can Tell You About Your Yoga Practice

Sutra 1.2: Yoga is the modifications of the fluctuations of the mind.

Do you ever feel so uncomfortable in your own skin that you almost CAN’T STAND IT….like you want to rip off the suit that is pretending to be your body and your face so you can get to the REAL you? Do you ever drive yourself crazy like that? I know I do. But maybe the problem is not that I’m driving myself crazy, in fact, it’s quite the opposite, it’s that I am NOT driving at all, which is why I am FEELING so crazy, because I have handed the keys over to CRAZY and got in the backseat and now I am up in arms, throwing a fit in the backseat, wondering why we just pulled up to Coney Island when we were supposed to be going to Sedona. 

Consider the mind like a Kindergarten Classroom. The children are your thoughts and YOU are the teacher. If you don’t establish a schedule and clear boundaries, get ready for lots of half eaten glue sticks, all the Model Magic to be completely dried up, and a chorus of the word poop intertwined with fart noises, on repeat, escalating in volume. It’s not that the children are bad, they simply don’t know better, just like your thoughts, they are not bad, but left to their own accord, your mind will quickly fill with thoughts comparable to a chorus of poop and farts on repeat with the volume escalating. And just like those children can’t simply be wrangled like a herd of animals and barked orders at, neither can your thoughts. 

Kindness and compassion are REQUIRED in order to manage the classroom or your mind as a safe and loving environment for each child or thought to explore, leading to your growth and ultimately, your freedom. And the thing about freedom is that is does not look or feel like chaos. It does not look like dumping every single toy bin in the middle of the carpet in one heaping mass of LEGOS, Magna Tiles, Lincoln Logs, Matchbox Cars, and Barbies. That is just one giant mess that leads to disagreements of which inevitably lead to name calling and physical altercations, none of which feel like freedom (but more like wanting to rip suit skin off). What it feels like is a nightmare of trying to sort out who had what first, who said what, and who is EVEN telling the truth! 

Freedom is when we take out just the Matchbox Cars and the Magna Tiles and work together to build this massive empire with tunnels and ramps and entrances and exits that we can then drive the matchbox cars through, and maybe it will eventually include the LEGO people who will get to drive the cars and live amongst the castles in the empire, but they were graciously invited, and not showing up as spam.

This kind of freedom is the same kind of freedom we can create in our mind space with the intentional direction of our thoughts…..it’s choosing to use the thoughts that will serve us and managing the ones that will NOT, with kindness and compassion. Just like we would never banish a child from the classroom, we don’t have to banish thoughts from our minds either, simply observe which ones will expand the empire, versus stomp on top of it and crush it.

So now, whose ready to play? Whose ready to build our empire with the blocks of love, discernment, and kindness?

PS: This was my for real life Kindergarten Classroom, also a window into why I know so much about half eaten glue sticks and poop songs!

Andrea Behler