Take a moment to notice your breath, without judging what you observe.
One night, as a little girl gets ready to go to sleep, she hears a sound coming from her closet, and concludes: There’s a monster in my closet! She won’t open the closet door, because the fear of what she might find is too intense. If there’s a monster in the closet, it must be big, scary, and overpowering. The risk of not being able to handle what’s on the other side does not feel worth taking. So, the child has to scurry to her bed, pull the covers over her head, and she can’t relax because she has to be ready to run if the monster comes out. The sounds continue to keep her awake. Finally, the little girl concludes that the only way she’ll be able to sleep is if the monster leaves her closet. She bravely approaches the door, opens it, and shrieks as a moth flies out. After watching the moth that was searching for a way to get outside, the little girl opens the window, and the moth flutters out. The child closes her closet door, takes a proud sigh of relief, snuggles under the covers, and falls fast asleep.
Sometimes we attach a certain meaning to something about ourselves, some factor in our lives, some idea, some possibility. Sometimes we are too afraid to look at what’s there to even consider what it is. Maybe, after giving ourselves the space to consider it, however, we’ll begin to see ways that we can deal with what is there.
Today I invite you to increase your awareness, without judging what you see or attaching meaning to it, so that you can truly see.
A yoga practice provides a space to observe without judging. We draw our focus to the breath, which helps the mind to slow down and helps to take attention away from the stories that we tell ourselves, or the monsters that grow inside our closets. In addition, as we practice mindfulness with the breath, we also practice mindfulness with our bodies and movements. We learn to breathe through the sensations that arise and to be present. Sometimes this means adjusting the pose so that we can find our true best or “edge”, rather than push beyond it to our expected edge. We practice this constant communication between the body and breath without judging ourselves for not being able to achieve a certain expression of the pose that we might desire. Through this practice, we train ourselves to remove some of the stigmas that we attach to our experiences in life so that we can embrace them, learn from them, and move forward.
Notice your breath again. During your physical yoga practice, or asana practice, observe what’s going on within you in each pose. Observe when you reach your edge, if you need to modify the pose, if your breathing changes and the thoughts that come. Maybe certain thoughts need to come to the surface, so that they can then pass on by, or so that we can deal with them in another way.
What monsters in your closet are you ready to face this week, this month? We Got This!!!
Check out my calendar for my up-to-date teaching schedule. Hope to see you on the mat!
Peace and Sweet Dreams,