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The tale of the woodcutter

There’s a short story about a woodcutter we like to share with our students, which we’re going to share in this blog. It’s a simple reminder of something we all forget to do – something which can make our lives so much more enjoyable and productive. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin…

PTY woodcutter axe

Woodcutting, like life, can be hard!

Once upon a time, there was a young man with strong arms and a strong work ethic. Fittingly, he found a job as a woodcutter in a forest.

On his first day, he managed to cut down an impressive twenty trees! “Not bad, lad!” exclaimed his boss (who turned the wood into planks).

Determined to maintain his track record, the young woodcutter set out to do the same, if not more, on his second day. But after fifteen trees, he had to stop.

On the third day, the woodcutter rose early, keen to get a head start on the job and bring his total back up to twenty. Alas, he managed to cut down even fewer trees than the day before!

This pattern continued, with the woodcutter leaving work more and more disheartened as the week went on.

Eventually, one of the older woodcutters took him to one side for a chat. “When did you last sharpen your axe?” he asked. The young woodcutter stared at him blankly, for he had not sharpened his axe once since starting his new job – he hadn’t had the time to spare, after all.

However, the next morning, the young woodcutter remembered what his friend had asked him and set aside a few minutes to sharpen his axe, before attempting to cut down more trees.

And do you know what? Despite having less time to chop wood, he managed to bring his total back up to twenty.

Have you sharpened your axe?

PTY festival scene for woodcutter story

Nourish your soul to sharpen your axe

This simple story has an important lesson for those of us who live busy, active lives. It serves to remind us about the need to sharpen our own axe. We’re speaking metaphorically, of course. For us, the axe is three-sided: it has a physical edge, a mental edge and a spiritual edge – and it’s these aspects of ourselves that we have to ‘sharpen’.

When we look at the story from this perspective, the job of chopping down trees is life itself. With a well-maintained ‘axe’ – physical strength, mental clarity and a heart full of love – we become more masterly in our approach to the job of life.

Be the best woodcutter you can be!

As the nights grow longer and the air becomes damp and cold, it can be tempting to hide out in our cosy homes. And yes, this is one way to sharpen your axe. But it’s not the whole story. To maintain energetic balance, a strong and vital body, and a focused mind – to keep all three edges of the axe sharp – we must come back to the mat.

Throughout the Autumn term at Peacock Tree Yoga, we’re inviting you to commit to sharpening your blade not only in our classes, but in two special workshops being held in September and November.

The first of these Yoga Ninja workshops will afford you an opportunity to take stock of where you are now – to take a close-up inspection of your axe. The second workshop, which takes place 9 weeks later, will show you how much sharper your blade has become!

Contact us now to book a place in one or both workshops:

  • Email: info@peacocktreeyoga.com
  • Call: 07772 706 736 / 01904 235932
  • Facebook: PeacockTreeYoga