And definitely don’t present unsolved mysteries to me
I have recently begun my yoga journey. After allowing all my body parts to atrophy for years, I finally relented and signed up for yoga.
At the appointed time, I lock myself in the spare room, and the class begins. My teacher has the tough task of waking up almost all my muscles since they went into hibernation a long time ago.
I have the tough task of staying focused and making sure I accomplish at least 50% of whatever position I am supposed to assume for a particular asana or exercise.
Everyone in the household knows that this time is sacrosanct and that I cannot be disturbed. Even the hamster goes all quiet and morose while I run around getting ready for class.
Today was no different
I loudly announced to everyone that I was off for my yoga, and rushed into the room.
The class started as usual and proceeded well for about 15–20 minutes.
Suddenly, my nose woke up. Normally it has no role to play in the yoga class until we reach the breathing exercises. But today was different.
A strange smell was curling in and tickling my nose.
While my teacher announced ‘inhale’ and ‘exhale’, my nose was getting excited and suspicious with each inhale.
Initially, the smell was not pleasant. Since I was facing the window, I assumed it was something from outside.
After a minute or two, I deduced that the smell was trickling down from the house above.
While my body mechanically followed the teacher, my nose and brain were deeply engaged in solving the mystery.
A little while later, the smell became somewhat familiar. It was the smell of someone boiling butter to make ghee (clarified butter).
But my brain was still not satisfied. It had a feeling similar to detectives who are convinced that their conclusion is not correct.
Suddenly the brain came up with an idea that sent me into a panic wave. We were running low on ghee at home. I was planning to make ghee shortly. I wondered if the teen had taken it upon herself to make ghee. Had she placed butter in a pan on the stove in a bid to help?
Panic! She has not done this before.
To the best of my knowledge, she has not watched me make it either. How would that experiment go? What mess would I have to clean up?
Should I run out and check? All this happened right in the middle of Suryanamaskara! I was trying to inhale and exhale as needed, my muscles were trying their best to keep up with the steps of the Suryanamaskara, my nose was still trying to place the smell and its origin, and my brain was in full panic mode.
Who said multi-tasking is easy?
Suddenly, my brain did a double-take. It was an epiphany moment. I could almost imagine the brain taking a proud bow!
It has pieced together the time of day, the fact that my teen was out of her online tuition, that she would be hungry at this time of day, that she is capable of fixing a light snack for herself, and that there were enough supplies in the kitchen for her to do so.
Result? Tadaa! She was making popcorn!
Yay! The smell of butter was explained!
Mystery Solved. Focus on Yoga Please
One would have thought the brain will now relax and go back to focusing on my yoga, right?
From the moment the mystery smell revealed itself to be popcorn, the brain could not get the image of a bowl full of warm salted buttered popcorn out of its bloody head.
For the next 15 minutes of the yoga, while the teacher implored me to focus internally and empty my head, the inside of my head indeed emptied almost fully.
Except for one big bowl of popcorn!
Originally published on Medium at this location.