Not Always A Good Idea to Fall In Egg Yolks

Before a yoga class that I hold in my home, I filled an egg carton with a dozen eggs from our chickens. I had a student who buys the eggs so I took the dozen eggs and put them on a wooden bench in our foyer. Then I cleaned the bathroom while the little children played. Somehow cleaning the bathroom became the deepest meditation I’d had in days because it was quiet.

Too quiet.

I came out of the bathroom and found my toddler in the foyer with an egg in each hand. She stood in a pile of egg yolks and whites, egg on her clothes, egg on the rug, egg on the bench. As I approached her, I watched her slip in the yolks and land on her bottom. She tried to get up, but she couldn’t. It was so slippery that with each attempt she just tumbled back down to the ground.

She was really stuck in the yolk.

Yoke, the other spelling but same pronunciation, is one of the translations for the word “yoga.” Yoga means to yoke. Yoke means to join. In yoga we love to think we will get “yoked” to something wonderful—sunset vistas in organic cotton leggings and inner peace with one forward bend! Yes, bring it on and bring it quickly.

On the other hand, in life, not so much.

In life, we yoke ourselves to food, sex, screens, drugs, anything we use a lot of, anything we imagine is “helping us”—we even do it with people and groups of people (that’s how you get cults). Then we call that freedom. But that’s not freedom as my toddler aptly demonstrated. That’s the opposite of freedom.

Yoke is the old fashioned word for hitching two oxen to one another—which made them twice as strong and able to pull twice as much. But in a very real way it made them half as free and half as comfortable. I wish spiritual practice was an Enya album and a massage. I really do. But it’s hard work. And daily work. If you hitch yourself to Jesus, for example, then you’re going to have to deal with the tough questions: am I loving? Am I a radical for justice? Are my days really meaningful?

Freedom does not mean ah-sigh, relax. That’s what savasana means. But nobody freed slaves by simply relaxing. Freedom is an incredible struggle and a determination first before it is anything else. A bit like labor pains before birth, now that I think of it.

In Yoga, we find a dhristi, Since we’re always hitching ourselves to something—a person, a movement, a Netflix special, it matters what that thing is. Which means our freedom isn’t “I’m all alone in this.” Our freedom means, “I get to choose what I’m slipping in, rolling in and getting stuck in.”

That’s the kind of freedom we are called to. That’s the freedom of the yogic path.

Find a gazing point. Set your gaze and keep it set. This allows us to balance, to stay present, to get stronger. When you lift your dhristi from the floor to the sky, the heart rises and the whole pose changes. We are all of us looking at something, but what? We are all of us yoked to something, but what? We are all of us seeking union with something, but what?

Hitch yourself to the Higher Star. That is the freedom in which we are truly free.


  1. Nancy Thayer on March 25, 2021 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for this. Gives me a lot to think about.

    • Samantha Wilde on March 26, 2021 at 10:11 am

      And a good reason not to break eggs on the floor! 🙂

  2. supriya hermenze on March 30, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    You are brilliant. How true ….so important what we yoke ourselves to……xoxo thank you for this reminder and so cleverly put…You are great at taking every day occurrences and seeing wisdom to share with us from them. thank you

    • Samantha Wilde on March 30, 2021 at 8:11 pm

      Thank you! Today was a day I felt I really got stuck in the egg yolk of life so I appreciate your sweet comment!

  3. Gretchen Martin on April 7, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    I gave you my email address. oh boy oh boy!! i am always intrigued and love whatever you put out there, so far. can’t wait for more. love you, too.

  4. Supriya Hermenze on May 30, 2021 at 8:52 am

    I really needed to read this now. I have hitched myself to a situation that is looping through my mind in a negative cycle…From reading this blog, you reminded me that it was my choice to hitch which means it can be my choice to let go. Thank you Sammie. Thank you for your revelations shared in such a fun and visual way.

    • Samantha Wilde on May 31, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you dear friend! So glad it struck you in a helpful way.

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