It was 5 pm, time to start the hour long yoga class. I turned the music down so Tibetan bells sang quietly in the background. It was a small class of four. Large classes can amp up the energy but I like the quiet intimacy of smaller groups.
“Good evening everyone, welcome to Slow Flow… “, I began but was quickly interrupted by Moe.
“Excuse me, when does this class end?”
“At 6, one hour.” I replied.
Moe said “Oh” and lay back down.
“Now take a big inhale…” I continued.
Moe sat back up and asked how long it took to cook a potato. “I put it in the oven just before I left the house.” She said.
Curly sat up and asked, “Regular or sweet?”
“Sweet of course” said Moe. We all murmured our approval.
Larry stayed prone but asked how big it was.
Moe made the size of a grapefruit with her hands.
Shep, with eyes closed, asked what temperature the oven was set.
“300” answered Moe.
“It’ll be fine, can’t really overlook a sweet potato” added Shep.
Everyone lay back down and I started class…again.
Unfortunately all I could think about were sweet potatoes.
Funny I never liked them as a kid, wouldn’t even try them, marshmallows added or not, just not happening. I love them now. Isn’t it funny how palates change? Acorn squash is also added to the list of things I now eat. Then again enough butter and thyme works on a myriad of vegetables. Honeybun likes squash but not sweet potatoes. (He had a terrible experience as a child.) I wonder if he’d notice if I mashed up sweet potato and put it in an acorn squash shell. He’d be mad if I tricked him. I’m getting hungry.
This internal monologue went on through the warm up, standing and balancing poses, until I glanced at my watch. Holy Hot Potato, I have 15 minutes to cool everyone down and go into final relaxation. Where did the time go? The thing is time didn’t go anywhere, my mind did. I managed to shorten the class by 15 minutes because I think 45 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a sweet potato to cook in a 300 degree oven.
Moe said “Wow that was fast!”
Larry, Curly and Shep echoed her sentiment. “We must have been in the zone!”
“Uh, I have a confession to make.” (Yes, I really did confess.)
Dharana (dah-rah-nah), the sixth limb of classic yoga, is the practice of roping in our wandering minds. It’s concentrating and focusing, and it takes a lot of effort to disengage from distractions whether you are a student, a teacher or a chef. Pranayama (pra-nah-ya-ma) , listening to, controlling and feeling your breath, helps. Sometimes repeating a mantra or intention will draw the mind back in as well.
I don’t recommend chanting “One potato, two potato, three potato, four, five potato, six potato, seven potato, more”, but then again…
Namaste- what will we have for dinner today?