Railroad Tracks! Watch out for the cars! Can you spell that without any R’s?
“Railroad tracks! Watch out for the cars! Can you spell that without any R’s?” the answer was…..T-H-A-T…..I can spell ‘that’ without any R’s
When I was a kid, I thought that was the funniest joke in the world. It was a big trick I wanted to play on everyone. Thus, my love for stupid jokes began….and continues to this day.
On my recent trip, the last place we visited was the island of Mallorca. It’s part of the Balearic Island chain in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain. We flew into Palma and walked around gawking at the scenery, cathedrals, and shops. Our final destination on the island was a town called Soller on the opposite side of the island. There is a lovely wooden train that runs back and forth between the two towns so we decided to take the 55 minute ride at 7:30 in the evening. Once we got outside of town the scenery was breathtaking. Majestic mountains and terraced groves of lemon trees, orange trees, and olive trees lined the tracks. The train wasn’t crowded, the windows were open and when the conductor wasn’t looking we could put our feet on the seat next to our backpacks.
Going from one side of the island to the other required several tunnels through the mountains. One tunnel lasted about 7 minutes. It was pitch black with cool, dank air blowing through the cars. All we could hear was the clickety clack and rumble of the tracks.
Maybe that’s why trains came up for me in class today. I’ve been teaching for almost a decade and after the thousands of hours of classes it always surprises me when new words come out. I don’t know why it’s surprising, though. Intuition is always fresh and new. The energy of the Universe is never stale and it’s always my desire to teach from that place…..a warm familiar flow of postures, deep and even ujjayi breath, tapped into Namaste! The vibe that speaks to and connects us all. Ahhh, the magic of vinyasa!
It happened towards the end of class, a train on it’s tracks became the symbol of our thoughts. As they began to relax their bodies in savasana, I asked the students to relax their minds by imagining they were backing away from the train going by on the tracks. I mentioned that sometimes uncomfortable thoughts can seem very loud, scary, and sometimes dangerous…..like standing too close to the tracks as a powerful locomotion screams by. As they let go more and more and relaxed in their bodies, I suggested they imagine themselves farther and farther away from the tracks where they could barely see the train and only faintly hear the whistle. They envisioned the train from a place that was safe where the train that at first may have been frightening, now only decorated the scenery.
Then, after a few minutes, we did our little waking up ritual and they rolled to their sides. At that moment, I had the vision of a damsel in distress tied up the railroad tracks. Before they sat up to leave, I reminded the yogis that as they go through the day, if thoughts become loud, scary and uncomfortable to remember that they, unlike the lady in the old fashioned movies, were indeed NOT tied to the tracks. We are NOT tied to our thoughts. We are NOT our thoughts. As one of my favorite authors, Byron Katie, says “The only thoughts that can hurt you are the ones you believe.”
For the sake of our imagery here……the only thoughts that can hurt you are the ones you don’t step away from. Play with this today. If it helps, use it. Like always, I’m not asking you to believe me…..just try it and see what happens.