Monkey Mind on the Mat

Monkey Work in Progress

Monkey Work in Progress (Photo credit: DanaK~WaterPenny)


The Monkey Mind, the ever chattering, constant movement of a mind not ready to be still. How do we move through our practice when our minds are cluttered with chatter? You think about the day, the relationships in your life, the other members in class, and so on. For example, when you are on the mat, and the perfectly coiffed little yogi girl is standing next to you, are you thinking that: your clothes don’t fit as well as hers; you do the pose better – or she does; Man, she has skinny thighs; wonder what brand of mat that is…and on, and on?


Relax! It is OK. It is our human nature.


We cannot fault who we are; yet we can be mindful. We can watch the thoughts arising (or at least catch them after they have arisen!) and then put them at bay. Yes, she has a beautiful yoga mat and it must bring her joy to practice on it. Does that mean her practice is any more beneficial to her than yours is to you? Almost seems like a silly question now, off the mat – away from her skinny thighs – doesn’t it? And, yet, you know that when you next hit the yoga studio and she is there, you’ll find some equally challenging, urgent and unimportant thoughts coming up. Again, it is our human nature. We all do it.


How about not berating yourself for these thoughts or any other thoughts that come up during practice? How about becoming aware of them and accepting them? Answer the question, the worry or the concern right away at the beginning of your practice. Let’s continue with our example. This time our perfectly coiffed little yogi has the cutest top on! You find yourself intrigued by the top – not your breath and suddenly you become aware that you aren’t taking time for yourself here! The monkey-mind has won again! Or, has it? Try saying to yourself, “OK, I love that top. I have to know where she got it. Must ask after class.” There. It’s solved. You’ve answered that question that would have followed you through your practice. And you move forward, letting go and focusing on your body, your breath, and the poses you experience during your time on the mat.


Lo’ and behold…I’ll be surprised if you even remember that perfect little top (or any of the other majorly urgent yet unimportant things that crop up) after svasana…but, if you do; you did let it go throughout your practice to allow yourself time to honor your body and you now have the power to follow through with the decision you made about the question, worry or concern that started talking to you at the beginning of practice. I promise, it will still be there at the end of class if it is an important one. Your practice is your gift to you; or if I’m teaching you – your practice is a gift from me. I look forward to watching you grow and learn in yoga; every, single moment.






About yogagirlsherri

I am a 200-HR RYT certified yoga instructor. I teach vinyasa primarily but also teach seniors, yoga nidra, restorative, pranayama and meditation. I have a passion for life, all things yoga and dogs. Drop me a questions, line, comment - I'll be happy to hear from you! Namaste View all posts by yogagirlsherri

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