Understanding the power of our mind is key to our yoga practice. By learning how to take care of our mental health just as we would our physical health we allow ourselves more freedom to step into the truth of who we are. To recognise when we are being triggered by our emotions and choosing to step back in moments of challenge we can live a life with much less unnecessary suffering. By bringing awareness to our unconscious negative patterns we can shift our perception of life's experiences and begin to move through layers of unconscious triggers that have been running our lives for years.
Before yoga I was completely unaware of just how many of my own patterns were blocking me from feeling happiness and contentment in my own life. I was in complete submission to my mind and had absolutely no control over my emotional, physical, or mental body. My day would be a complete rollercoaster with everything that happened outside of me throwing me in and out of emotional turmoil. I was completely powerless to the ever-changing currents of life. As you can imagine, taking life this personally is extremely exhausting and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and burned out.
A regular yoga and meditation practice acts like a boat on rough waters, giving us the opportunity to stay safe and calm when the outside world becomes too much. Life isn't meant to be soft all the time, it is the rough edges that makes it interesting, but without a roadmap to help us navigate these waters it is easy to get lost. Once we begin to delve into a deeper understanding of our bodies we can all learn how to stay calm even amongst life's rough edges.
To understand the intelligence of our bodies we have to reconnect with it. Through movement, food, creation, and play we can re-establish a connection to our deeper nature that can give us the strength and motivation to move forward in our lives and shine a path for others to do the same.
By deepening the connection to ourselves and understanding that we are 100% accountable for how we feel we create the space and freedom to make conscious and healthy choices, emotionally and physically. Blaming or putting the responsibility on anyone else other than ourselves for our lack of happiness takes away our power and subsequently leaves us empty. So let's take a look at some tools that can help us to re-establish a relationship with the person that we are when we are most aligned, which is sometimes referred to as our higher self.
The first thing we need to do in any situation or challenge is to breathe. To consciously breathe deeply into the belly and give ourselves space to recognise the physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts that are dominant within our bodies.
When we are quiet we can connect to our subtle energy body and tune in to how we are feeling.
I invite you to come to a comfortable seated position with your knees relaxed and begin to lift your spine from the ground as if you were drawing it softly towards the ceiling.
Your abdomen should softly activate at this point. Draw your shoulders up towards your ears and as they are falling down imagine the shoulder blades are meeting at the center-point of your back, sit up nice and tall and feel that your chest is nice and open. Relax your shoulders away from the ears and draw the crown of our head towards the ceiling. The chin should be slightly tucked so that the neck is in a neutral position to the spine.
Here is where we connect to our Ujjayi breath and begin to consciously and audibly breathe deeply into the belly. Stay here for as long as is comfortable. Try for 5 minutes if you can, and if this is not possible then see if you can work your way up slowly day-by-day. Take your time and be kind to yourself. If you are struggling to breathe into the belly, don't worry this is completely normal, just relax and continue to focus on drawing the breath deeply towards the naval and the rest will happen in time.
The next step is to strengthen our imagination and merge with our body intelligence through focus and connection.
Continue with this deep breathing and begin to draw your internal focus towards your sit bones. Keep your attention here and begin to feel what is happening in your body, notice the different sensations and keep returning to the breath when you lose focus. Stay here for 10-15 deep breaths.
Feel the space that is around your body. Tune into any subtle feelings; different temperatures, numbness, pins and needles, or even colours. Breathe here and allow yourself to just be. Allow any thoughts or sensations to come and go, notice any pain or discomfort allowing them to flow in and out of your consciousness, returning to the breath and maintaining this connection with the space around you for as long as you feel comfortable. Sit here for a while and then begin to shift your awareness from the bottoms of your feet to the crown of your head.
Spend time like this every morning, for 5 minutes to start and work your way up to 10 minutes, and more of course if you feel comfortable. Continue to sit with the part of yourself that is soft, quiet, patient and all loving. By practicing this each day you build your inner fire (tapas) which will help you maintain the inner resilience and strength that you need to reconnect to your inner teacher and live according to your truth.
Allow the practice to take you home. By dedicating even 10 minutes a day you will begin to see profound changes in your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
I am always here if you need help or have any questions.
Sending you love & healing