It was time to test our knowledge again. Dianne gave us a short half hour quiz to see how much we’d retained since returning to yoga school after the holidays. She tried to keep it casual. The questions covered material on the chakras, Ayurveda medicine and yoga therapy. Just enough to tickle the brain and make sure that all the neurons were still firing. We took it up right away, which helped to settle any fears about whether or not we knew the “right” answers. I got a little stuck on the question about “What is Jalandhara Bandha?”. Couldn’t recall it right away. So, I did some yoga! Closed my eyes, took several inhales and exhales…and it came to me. Jalandhara Bandha is Throat Lock, when the chin is tucked into the breastbone to regulate the flow of prana to the neck and the heart.
And to make sure that we were staying focused for the final three weeks of shala (has time flown by that quickly already?), Dianne presented us with a list of questions to help study for the final test. What a slave driver! 🙂
My thoughts have drifted back to what I observed about myself, when I was faced with that question on the test and I didn’t know what to write down on the page. My former school teachers would be proud. I’ve been conditioned over the years that it’s better to take an educated guess than leave a blank!. Taking a breath helped me to think clearly. Closing my eyes helped to remove the distractions around me. I could sense my authentic Self searching for the answer. And when it “appeared”, the answer just made sense.
I’ve been doing that a lot lately. When I have a tough case with a sick animal or when my own personal life throws me a loop, I pause and breathe. One of my colleagues at the clinic noticed my screen saver on the computer last week. It’s a Zen garden, with a few islands of rocks and moss against a rustic brick wall. I told her that when I’m stuck on something at work, I often return to my desk to look at that image and it helps to focus me so that I can think. I use this strategy more frequently now-a-days. If I sit with the question, then the answer will come to me. It might take anywhere from minutes to days to months. But when the solution appears, it feels right.