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Delight in Learning New Things

By Miss Amanda

PROMPT — During COVID-19 ...

I delighted in learning new things. How to poach an egg. How to identify trees by their bark, how to look for clues on the forest floor of our northern woods. How to spread warm sugar on my chin and on my legs using strips of my husband’s old T-shirt to tear off the hairs.  

I was in the desert when it started. An assistant at a yoga-teacher training, I became the teacher when others left. I realized that I could be the trainer and told the aspiring teachers that we are just the delivery person, that the practice itself is the true guide to the great energy that moves us all. I spent two days hiking the red hills and flew home on an empty airplane where I wiped down the tray and took a nap across three seats. I decided to fly only during pandemics. 

At home, I became a child on a Saturday afternoon: no job, no homework, chores finished. I followed my passions and read about Indian goddesses fierce and soft. They bewitched me into scanning their images into my computer so I could print and color them. Because copy shops were open in New Hampshire – Copy Free or Die! – I printed the goddess images, collated them, and made coloring books for my friends. I bought pre-sharpened colored pencils for their care packages and when I left the store, I disinfected my hands in the parking lot.  

I sat in place. These were days of yoga, when masters and initiates alike had nothing to do but sit and chant the names of the energies. I turned on my computer so other people could chant with me. Chanting at a screen felt silent and robotic, but like everything with these machines, I became used to it. I smiled at the screen-image faces and began to move. The faces moved with me; we all moved together and I felt the snake inside, the deep knowing, begin to stir.  

I didn’t know what to do about money, so I screamed. I put on special music and I stood in place and shook every muscle and continued screaming. It's an ancient practice. After I screamed, I jumped and shouted. Then tears sprang to my eyes as I held myself still. Finally, I danced.  

I fasted on liquids for three days. I drank fresh vegetable juice, homemade almond milk, and every type of tea in the house. I snapped at my husband when he suggested making English muffins from scratch. I took naps and marveled at my new resistance to hunger. After the fast, I ate miso soup and smoothies for a week. Without restaurants and potlucks and parties, I only ate what fills me and I felt sleeker and lighter than ever before, as if I’ve lifted away from the earth.


Miss Amanda is a Vermont yoga teacher and Thai yoga massage therapist. She received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of New Orleans in 2001 and sends out weekly inspirational emails to her students. Currently, she is at work on a memoir about using yoga, psychotherapy, shamanism, and other modalities on her journey towards bliss. To learn more, visit


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