Yoga Stories

Marmaduke the Magnificent Elephant
By
Caroline Saxon

Abigail had had a lovely day. She’d woken up with a smile, eaten all of her breakfast, cleaned all of her teeth, remembered to put a vest on, had loads of fun playing with her friends at school. She’d had a fun walk home chatting about her day, hopping and skipping and running around lamp posts all the way home.
Suddenly, without any warning, Bert the angry red ball came flying out of nowhere and knocked her right off her feet. Frustration, frustration, fist forming frustration. Before Abigail knew it she had hit her little brother in the face and kicked her Daddy’s leg and yelled so loud at her Mummy it made Abigail cry. Once she started crying she didn’t know how to stop, her chest began to tighten and she couldn’t breathe properly and her cries turned into sobs as her tears dropped heavily onto the floor around her.
The frustration was she could never see Bert coming. She could feel him making her skin feel hot, sometimes like she wanted to scratch it off. She could feel him making her body stiffen, her cheeks redden, her toes and fingers curling tightly and her head beginning to go all fuzzy and hurting.
Sometimes, Bert came along so quickly she just did not know how to deal with him. This was one of those times. But then, a funny thing happened. Through Bert’s red mist she saw a little purple elephant sitting in the corner of the kitchen. She rubbed her eyes and looked again. This time, the purple elephant was sitting in the basket of a rainbow coloured hot air balloon.
Now the kitchen wasn’t particularly big but as Abigail stepped closer the balloon began to grow and grow and grow until it was the size of the whole house. Abigail peered over the side of the basket but the elephant was nowhere to be seen. Abigail was curious, she’d not been in a hot air balloon before. She climbed inquisitively into the basket hardly noticing that the balloon was drifting higher and higher up into puffs of cotton white clouds.
As she bobbed along through the wispy clouds she could see her home and a tiny red spot that she knew to be Bert. He looked so small from up here. She couldn’t hear a sound apart from the air in the balloon. She could feel her heart like a little drum beating inside her chest. She could still taste the salty taste of tears on her bottom lip.
Slowly slowly the balloon came down to rest in a beautiful land of rolling green hills and deep blue valleys. Her nose was filled with the smell of fresh rain and grass. As she wandered up the hills and down the valleys she began to feel her cheeks softening, the knot in her chest loosening a little, and her hands letting go of their fists. She could feel the bubbles in her belly settling and disappearing, she could feel the grass between her toes as they too began to uncurl and soften.
Abigail sat for a moment by a sparkling lake. She closed her eyes and listened to the sound of humming bees. Everything began to feel softer, quieter, calmer.
She opened her eyes and there across the other side of the lake was the purple elephant, although he had grown to a magnificent size. His feet were planted firmly on the bank of the lake as he drank from it’s cool blue waters. After a few moments he lifted his trunk and swaying from side to side he sprayed drops of rainbow coloured water all around.
It was right here, right now in this moment that Abigail began to notice she didn’t feel Bert any more. She looked around for him but he was nowhere to be seen. He hadn’t followed her here and somehow she knew that when she went back home he’d be gone. She had followed the elephant all this way and now she was ready to go home.
With this thought came a sigh and out of this sigh came a huge rainbow coloured bubble within which Abigail drifted slowly home.
Now every time Abigail feels angry and Bert is rolling around her mind she remembers the little purple elephant and the journey that helped her get home.

 

Roary, the dragon who found his roar
by Caroline Saxon

Roary the dragon woke up one morning feeling angry. He didn’t know why he felt angry he just knew he was.
He felt angry with the sky for raining, he hated getting wet. He felt angry with the garden because the grass was all muddy and he couldn’t go out to play.
He crossly flung his tail out and smashed his favourite piece of lava rock which made him jump under his bed with fright.
After a few moments he looked up and realised what he had done and then he felt angry with himself for breaking his rock.
Roary felt so frustrated he stomped out of the house. Not looking where he was going he bumped into his friend Shakey the unicorn. He bumped into him so hard he sent him flying straight into Phly the phoenix who crashed into the ground.
Suddenly, and without warning, a great big fiery flame burst out of Roary’s mouth burning the trees around him and only just missing his two friends.
Roary was so ashamed of himself he went stomping off into the woods.
In the woods he met a little green frog who he almost squished with his big angry feet. The frog, who was called George, looked up at Roary and calmly stretched out his legs.
George jumped up onto Roary’s shoulder and placed his little frog hand gently on Roary.
Roary burst into tears, sobbing into the ground. When he stopped crying he curled up into a little ball and closed his eyes, not really knowing what to do with himself.
Finally Roary sat up to see George sitting with his mouth wide open. To begin with he thought George, being a frog, was just trying to catch flies.
Then he realised, George was trying to roar!
“But George, that’s not how you roar, this is how you roar…”
Roary roared the longest loudest roar he had ever roared. When he had finished he looked around for George who he found just sitting looking up at him smiling a big wide smile.
George winked at Roary and then hopped off into a pile of damp leaves.
Roary was a little lost for a moment. Suddenly he realised, “I feel so much calmer now”, his angry feeling had disappeared. He looked up to the sky and was happy to feel the rain on his face. He looked down towards the ground and was excited about the squishy mud between his toes.
He roared again.
He roared to the ground and he roared to the sky.
Then he walked calmly back through the woods to find his friends.
He found Phly who’s wings were all fixed and Shakey who was still a little bruised but so happy to see his friend looking happy again, despite his muddy feet.
“What happened to you?!” asked Shakey.
“I found my roar!” grinned Roary.
And the next time Roary had angry or frustrated feelings, instead of taking them out on his surroundings and his friends, he chose to try roaring instead. It didn’t always get rid of the angry feelings but it make him feel a little calmer about them.

“Feelings are okay, not all behaviour is. We don’t necessarily choose our feelings, but we can choose how to express them.” (“Sitting Still Like a Frog” – Eline Snel).

 

Phly, the phoenix who learned to rise
By Caroline Saxon

Phly was a phoenix, a firebird, a bird so beautiful she quite literally blazed. She was always so good at rising back up when life got her down.
But today she was feeling grey and heavy with a sadness she just could not shift.
She had lost her favourite feather. And when I say “lost” I don’t mean misplaced I mean it was gone forever, broken, unrepairable, irreplaceable, lost.
Phly felt frightened to fly without it. Her legs ached with the weight of walking. She had no fire in her heart. All she wanted to do was curl up and go to sleep wishing things were different.
If only she knew that one day they could be if only she had a…
“Frog?”
Phly had taken herself into the woods, she didn’t want anyone to see her without her beautiful gold tail feather.
But the frog saw her. The frog, who’s name was George, hopped over to the edge of the hole she’d almost buried herself in. And he just grinned his big wide frog smile.
“Go away frog, stop looking at me” said Phly, in a voice so small it was hardly a whisper.
But George heard. He hopped off.
Phly tried to get up out of the hole to see where he’d gone. She hadn’t realised how deep she’d dug herself down. She wriggled her tail, puffed out her chest, spread one wing then the other, and slowly slowly rose to look around.
Phly saw the little green frog sitting silently on a toadstool stretching his little arms wide and then bending them back in towards his little green chest. She noticed that each time he did this his smile grew a little wider.
He looked so happy trying to fly even though he knew he couldn’t. This made Phly smile. But this wasn’t an ordinary stuck on your face smile because you know you should smile. This smile started in her heart and grew bigger and bigger until finally…
She was flying.
In fact she wasn’t just flying, she was soaring.
Phly suddenly realised she didn’t need her beautiful tail feather to fly. Yes she missed it, she knew she’d always miss it but the truth was she could fly without it.
Meanwhile, George just sat grinning, as all frogs do, holding a little flower in each hand, as all frogs don’t. He winked to nobody, blew one flower into the wind and then the other before hopping off into a pile of damp leaves.

Feelings of sadness and loss can seem so overwhelming. We can’t always change a situation but we can change our attitude towards it.

 

Shakey the unicorn shakes his greys away
By Caroline Saxon

Shakey was a unicorn. Being a unicorn he knew he was expected to act and be a certain way. He was supposed to be wise and confident and clear and purposeful and pure and powerful. But Shakey didn’t feel very wise or confident or any of those things. He just felt lonely, and quite often lost.
He couldn’t fly like a phoenix or roar like a dragon. He couldn’t glide or gaze like an eagle. He wished he could sing like a Mermaid and have the confidence of a tiger and a wide toothy grin like a crocodile.
No matter how hard he tried he felt he did not fit in. Usually he could shrug this feeling off like an old coat but today he just could not shake the greys away.
He started to wander. And as he wandered he wondered at the buzzing busyness of the bees and the bunnies who stopped to sniff and then hopped down a hole.
Suddenly, Shakey realised he’d wandered too far. He was on the top of a cold lonely mountain. He was confused. He looked around and all he could see was fog. Thick, heavy fog. He felt cold “Brrrrr”.
Then, through the fog he heard a “hisssssssssssssssssss”. “Just a snake” he thought. All they do is slither and hiss and get under your feet and bite your ankles and…he stopped. He listened again and this time he looked and this time he saw a most awesome sight.
The snake (who was called Coby) was dancing. Oh how he danced. Now Shakey, who had very good hearing, couldn’t hear any music but slowly, as he watched the snake move, he began to feel the music.
His tail began to swish and he couldn’t stop his legs and before he knew it his head joined in to and he was shaking his greys away.
As the fog began to clear Shakey looked around him and discovered he was at the top of a mountain overlooking a beautifully lush green forest with rainbow feathered birds soaring above the clouds. He saw the beauty all around him, he felt the music within him. He wasn’t lost, he wasn’t lonely, he was Shakey.

 

“Shaking out your sillies”

by Caroline Saxon

I’m shaking out my sillies
I’m shaking off my day
I’m shaking off the angry reds
I’m shaking the blues away

I’m shaking off the dust
I’m shaking out the rain
I’m shaking out the cobwebs
That fuzzied up my brain

I’m shaking off the unkind words
I’m shaking out the stress
And all the things that I don’t need
To help me worry less

 

“Shaking out your sillies”

I’m shaking out my sillies
I’m shaking off my day
I’m shaking off the angry reds
I’m shaking the blues away

I’m shaking off the dust
I’m shaking out the rain
I’m shaking out the cobwebs
That fuzzied up my brain

I’m shaking off the unkind words
I’m shaking out the stress
And all the things that I don’t need
To help me worry less

 

 

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