The Yoga of Peeling a Hard-Boiled Egg
“The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I'm being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There's no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves” -The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hahn.
The Epic Challenge
There are few things in this world which frustrate me more than peeling hard-boiled eggs. Sometimes they peel easy – but it's the ones with the shell that has established some sort of inseparable bond with the egg white that drive me mad.
No matter how delicately or carefully I try to remove the shell, one false move and there goes a chunk, right along with my hope for perfectly smooth eggs.
Sure, I've done my research and tried several of the "guaranteed" techniques and methods as recommended by others. Hint - boiling them with baking powder or vinegar in the water is a myth in my opinion. These tips might help me to get some of the eggs to peel properly, but never all of them.
I recall a few instances where I had good success with the first couple eggs and I thought that I had finally figured it out. My confidence builds, and I start peeling faster until whoops, there goes a chunk –Ahhhhh!
When will someone crack this code?!
Yoga and Peeling Eggs – Huh?
So, you may be wondering how yoga and peeling eggs has any correlation. The concept of practicing yoga, or even meditation, began to unfold while I was peeling a dozen and a half eggs to prepare deviled eggs for my daughter's birthday party.
My anxiety and stress levels were already elevated from the pressure of getting all the food made and other preparations in order. Spending 15-20 minutes to peel those eggs was the last thing that I wanted to be doing at that time.
I certainly didn't have any expectations of getting perfectly peeled eggs, but I also didn't want to mangle them by rushing.
At some point in the process I became aware of the acute tightness and tension in my body. My shoulders were hiked up to my ears, my lower back was aching, and my jaw was clenched. In yoga, this would often be referred to as gripping tightly.
I recognized the gripping in the above-mentioned areas as my usual indicator of subconscious stress and anxiety.
Then something occurred to me.
Up to that point, I was anything but focused on what was happening in that moment. Sure, I was focused on not mangling the eggs, but I was completely ignoring everything else.
This much physical tension is my body’s way of yelling out that my mind was going on yet another fantasy binge.
I’m not referring to the pleasant type of fantasy where I have super powers or possess wealth beyond measure. I am referring to the wave of projections that start occurring in my head.
Projections where I envision that I can’t do everything that has to get done because everything will go wrong. It’s that Murphy’s law mindset kicking in again.
What’s the Lesson Here?
Yoga helps to set us free by helping to focus our thoughts internally.
When you are attempting to balance, you can’t think about all the bad things that could possibly happen to you today, or you’ll fall. Plus, trying to balance on one leg with good posture while planning dinner for the rest of the week is nearly impossible.
Even if it was possible for you, what’s the point? You’re missing the magic of the moment while you are rocking an awesome tree pose.
So regardless of what you are doing; peeling eggs, washing dishes, driving to work, or waiting in line – be present.
Be deeply present.
The holidays are coming, and now more than ever is a great time to practice this life affirming skill of presence.
So, maybe you’ll peel your eggs and think of how it enhances your yoga practice in some uncanny way. Stranger things have happened to you I’m sure.
Yours in passion,
Joe Cyr is an upcoming blogger with a passion for writing. His website, MenWithPassion.com is for men like him who are looking to reconnect with their authentic masculinity. He also loves writing about yoga, meditation, and his love for adventure.