Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yoga is like Cake

I can't embed this video, so here's the link.

Show me a little corner of the world covered in flour, sugar, and butter, and I think of yoga. Since this blog's guiding theme and title is The Yogery (Yoga + Bakery), I can't help but see the relationship between yoga and baking all around me. The video linked above, for example, about a New York Times food reporter learning to bake a 15 layer cake, seems to me the perfect inspirational allegory for a yoga student on the path to becoming a teacher.

In the video, the writer goes to a grandmother in the deep South to learn the baking techniques that have been passed from generation to generation. The grandma in question whips together a perfect cake, making it look easy as, well, pie. But when we see the reporter alone in her kitchen, trying to repeat the process and messing up every step on the way, we realize how much more there is to it. What is inspiring about the video is the way even though the reporter's cake is a mess, it's a charming mess, and she doesn't seem discouraged, saying, "it's not so bad." The mess of the learning process is its own kind of beauty.

With judgment released, there is room for the joy and fascination of exploration. A process that seems pat and simple opens to reveal scientific-artistic dimensions. Sometimes, with tasty results--despite its aesthetic flaws, I'm certain that the resulting mishmash of a cake tastes delicious.

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