You know what can be incredibly relaxing? Savasana, aka that resting pose at the end of a yoga practice.
You know what is never — EVER — relaxing? The Boston accent.
Most of my family grew up in blue collar Medford, which produces one of the thickest accents you will ever hear. I grew up not knowing there was a difference between “author” and “Arthur” (true story). My own accent is but a distant memory, but it’ll slip out from time to time. There are certain words I’ll say incorrectly if I’m not thinking about it (like “pharmacy” – er – “phah-mihsee”) and the accent will come out in full force if I’m tired (or should I say “tie-yihd”).
Why am I giving you a brief history of my Boston-area roots? Because tonight, during savasana, I decided to talk about the “one breath meditation” — where, instead of trying to keep the mind blank for all of savasana, you focus all your attention on just one inhale, and then on the corresponding exhale. You can repeat that if you’d like, or you can let the mind wander. And — if you let the mind wander — you can try observing where the mind goes, but without interacting with the thoughts. I’ve heard this neutral observation likened to a theatre goer watching a movie on the screen, and that’s exactly the metaphor I used.
The only problem? I was absolutely exhausted AND “theatre” is one of my accidentally-Boston words if I’m not careful.
“You can watch where the mind goes, like a THEE-YA-DAH GO-AH at the movies.”
So, given my absurdly overactive imagination, I did a little more than “let the mind wander” during savasana. I started thinking about a yoga class taught by someone straight out of Southie. The biggest, most stereotypical, The-Departed-meets-Boondock-Saints Bostonian you could ever come across. I imagine him (or her) running the class a little like this (I mean: “like dis”):
“Alright, so — yeah. Welcome to dis yoga thing, whateva dat iz.
We’re gonna staht in dat easy seat-ihd pose. Alls you gotta do is sit der an’ close ya eyes. Don’t think about nothin’ for a second, a’right?
Den we’re gonna do some poses. Get in ya downwahd-facin daaaahg already. I ain’t got all day.
Okay, ya in ya downwahd-facin daaaaahg? Get in ya upwihd-facin daaaaahg. It’s a wicked good backbend.
Ya gettin’ some idears in ya head? Get ’em out. Breathe ‘n shit. Dat shood do da trick.
Yo kid! Kid! In da back! Why you talkin’ durin’ yoga? Shaht the fahck up! Ya mutha raised ya better! Also, tell her I said ‘ello!
Now we’re in our warrior two — I mean: nows we-yah in ah wah-ye-ah two! Didja fah-get to breathe? Betcha did!
Nah, it’s okay, kid. Ya fine. It’s okay dat you fih-got. S’all good, kid. S’all good.
Okay, now ya get to go into that shah-vah-san-ah. Dat final restin’ pose n’ shit. Alls you gotta do is nothin’. Nothin’! Don’t think about nothin’ kid. And — if ya do — dat’s okay, kid! Just let ya mind wandah. Watch it like one of dem, uh, ‘neutral outsidahs’ — y’know, like dey ain’t gotta be ya thoughts or nothin’. Like you’re one of dem THEEYAHDAH GOAHS at da mooveez. Like, ya watchin’ it, but it ain’t you. Ya get it?
A’right, but no, seriously. Shaht up and go to sleep.
A’right. Class is ovah. I’m off to the packie for some bee-yahs n’ some smokes.”