The other day I was teaching yoga to a group of grade 9 boys at the high school here in my hometown. They were doing as well as can be expected of wandering minds for the most part, but then as I was starting to teach them a more difficult pose, I noticed them all start to lose focus. So instead of raising my voice and trying to force them back into paying attention, I started telling them a story. What many people don’t know is that there are ancient myths associated with many of the poses we do in yoga. And while some of the myths are completely outlandish, they still offer a moral or divine lesson we can carry with us in our everyday life. So I told these young men about Shiva, the dreadlocked God of destruction, who once acted out in a furious rage instead of calmly processing his emotions. And a funny thing started to happen. They were all completely riveted. They became focused and engaged, asking questions and simultaneously holding the poses that I was instructing.
I wondered to myself why exactly that was happening. Why is it that stories are so engaging?
We live in an age of computer screens, smart phones and and instant gratification. We are distracted by a million different things, a million different times a day. Our addiction to technology is increasing, and the usefulness of the information we could be taking in is getting lost in our quest to just keep swiping or scrolling in order to see what else is out there. But the telling of stories gets us away from all that. Stories ask a few things of us; they ask us to be present, to be still, to listen, and to patiently await the end. Without us even realizing it, stories allow us to connect and relate. In a sense, stories ARE yoga, because they ask us to go within and to take a moment to understand any emotions that arise.
There’s something very special that happens to me when I hear someone’s story of struggle or triumph. It seems to allow for moments of clarity that wouldn’t otherwise have happened. Stories are powerful, important tools in personal development, and an understanding of the self is more important now than ever before.
That’s exactly why I’ve woven stories into my Poses & Prose eCourse, as well as writing activities to explore what arises after each set. I’ve recorded seven, 20-minute yoga videos, each one infused with a particular story that will keep you both focused and engaged during your yoga practice. The course is completely independent study, so you can do a class a day, a class a week or even one every month. It doesn’t matter, as you’ll receive access for life. The videos are also fully downloadable, so you can take them with you wherever you go.
I’ve felt concerned for a long time as a writer in the modern world that my life will revolve around too much screen time. And as I’ve slowly started to take note of my own technological addictions, I also see the importance and the gift that technology can bring. We can use it to our advantage, instead of just passively letting it control us. We can share our stories, our lessons and our insights. That’s what I created this course. To get people thinking, feeling and talking.
So if you’re somebody who has a hard time focusing your thoughts and calming your mind, you’ll be amazed to see how the simple sharing of a story can change all that. Through each lesson, you’ll suddenly feel your attention being drawn back to the present moment. After each video, you’ll then be encouraged to do a short, writing activity that will further your understanding of yourself and your own story. Sometimes all we need is a little shove in the direction we were already leaning to truly find some answers. If you’re interested in becoming more present in just an hour a day while you learn about yourself and ultimately find some stillness, check it out.
I guarantee you’ll walk away feeling inspired and empowered, realizing that the tools you needed were within you all along.
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Meet’cha on the mat. ❤