I was at a different yoga class tonight, “rocking yoga”, which was actually more thoughtful and less vigorous than I expected. Which isn’t to say that it wasn’t challenging, because it was. Something that the teacher/instructor/leader (I never know what to call the yoga instructor, really!) said right at the beginning of class that has stuck with me was “put aside the backpack of thoughts that you carry around with you, and just be.”

That visual, the backpack of thoughts…it really resonates with me. There are a million other ways to describe it, of course, and I think a different visual will resonate with different people. This was the first time I heard it described as a ‘backpack of thoughts’, and I found it really helped. I could imagine my backpack, dark blue with black straps, fairly large, with a padded back and a strap that can go around the waist to help take the weight off the shoulders. That backpack has gone with me half around the world, it has been my constant companion as I have gone back to school, and now it languishes in my closet.

Nevertheless, that’s the backpack I imagined, and I could see myself just lifting off those swirling thoughts, putting them carefully into the backpack and zipping it up. And then putting it aside. This is the backpack that is a part of me, that contains so much of my life while I travel. I’m never unaware of it. Yet putting it aside is such a relief on my shoulders, and now on my mind.

So, yeah, that was a visual that really worked for me.

wood and water