Keep Going, Turtle! Don't Let Labels Slow You Down [Writing Yoga® PROMPT #2005]


If you know me well, you know I am a tropical climate kind of human. You don't see turtles and egrets walking in snow. My family has been coming down to Florida for decades, not in a fancy kind of way, but in a swim in the gulf, grill some veggies and walk on the Pinellas Trail kind of way. 

On a walk in this breezy easy part of Southwest Florida, a turtle blended in with the grass. Unexpectedly large, totally still, and hanging steady on the lawn, we watched her for a while. Was she alive? Where did she come from? How did she get here? 

While we studied her shell, she suddenly turned her head at us and ran away.

Great to meet you turtle, glad you are on your way to bigger and better things.  

WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2005: Keep Going, Turtle

SIT: Be the Turtle 

Turtles can remain still for a very long time.  How long can you sit before you need to adjust your shirt, scratch an itch or change your posture. In Transcendental Mediation, a practice that I have been doing daily for many years, it is okay to scratch the itch. The question is weather or not you need to. 

This week, we will work with the energy and symbolism of turtles. Bring all of their strange and interesting qualities to your mind's eye. Rather than think of a shell as a place to hide, imagine it's a secure shelter for you to gather strength. Imagine you are inside that shell. Sit strong for 5 minutes.  What do you notice? How does it feel? 

WRITE: Keep Going! 

Watch the video of the turtle. It will take a while to get to the next pond, but she is taking steps to get there. After watching the turtle move (play a few times if you wish), grab your notebook and answer the following questions:

  1. Where am I stuck? 
  2. How can I break free? 
  3. Why does it matter? 

Remember, keep the pen going and write for 5-10 minutes. 

MOVE: The Turtle and the Dog  

Animal wisdom is a huge part of many cultures around the world. After all, they are our first teachers and trainers on how to navigate weather, seasons and survival. There are many different turtle postures in yoga and exercises classes to follow. This week, after you sit for work or meditation, stand up in front of your table or desk. Extend your arms out and place your hands at the edge of the desk. (Like downward dog at your desk)

Step back until your arms are straight and relax your head down. Let it be heavy. Exhale. Breathe 3 deep breaths and let your head relax and be heavy. Stay as long as you wish. Relax and let go. 

When you are ready, as you inhale, slowly walk back in and come to stand. Let your hands go alongside the body. Breathe. Relax for 3 deep breaths. 

Repeat throughout the day any time you feel stressed, anxious or confused. The turtle shell is always there for you. 

Let me know how it goes.

Until next week, stay luminous! - Stef

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