October Newsletter : The Three S’s
Shanti! Welcome to my October Newsletter.
I am just back from an amazing two weeks and over 100 hours of training in the ground breaking area of Yoga Psychology and looking forward to letting it all settle into my bones while maintaining the feeling tone (bhav in Sanskrit) of the work and healing that is inherent to the deeper study and practice of yoga…. And of course to share this light with you!
Before my travels I came to the heartbreaking and startling realization that my inner over-achiever was a little larger than I thought. I found myself admitting that I am overly critical of myself – tearing apart the tiniest flaw or mistake, self-flogging every time I perceive I have not pleased others. And even worse, I realized that this samskara (pattern or deep groove of thought and action) slowly trickled over into my relationships with my loved ones, work, etc. Does this sound familiar to anyone???….
Deep breath… the first step is being aware and transparent with yourself… always! My teacher Ashley calls it ‘owning.’ The key here is not judging yourself for what you are here on this planet to work on. Then figuring out how to work on it!
The Three S’s : Self-worth, Self-compassion and Self-reliance
If you do not feel like you are enough, worthy of the love, success, joy, and experiences you desire, those around you will struggle to be enough too.
Lie on your back and gently close the eyes placing both palms flat on your chest over the area of your heart. Lie in a place where the body can simply rest in ease while you focus the mind and practice heart breathing (adapted from Erich Shiffman in Yoga the Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness).
Gently notice your breathing feeling the chest and base of your sternum rise and fall under your palms. Slowly aim the breath into the heart center letting it flow naturally. Note the changing sensations in your chest. Shift from thinking mode to feeling mode and invite pleasurable sensations of warmth and spaciousness around the heart allowing your natural breath to fan and increase the sensations. If you begin to feel pain or loss in the heart center, internally repeat ‘trust’ with every inhale and ‘surrender’ with every exhale.
Tapping into your resilient self reliance. Repeating trust. Feeling trust and confidence in the heart Center and a grounding.. Visualize stepping forward into perfectly fitting, comfortable, beautiful silken shoes of your royal self. Stand tall and feel strength coursing through the body. Notice the supple soft sway of the breath. The resilience of the breath to return to inhale and exhale over and over whether we are conscious of it or not. The ability of the body to heal. The desire of the heart to love despite being damaged. Station your awareness in the core and heart (manipura and anahata chakras) increasing your sensitivity to the feeling tone of you and the ever changing sensations in your being. Listen to the deeper inner voice that is inherently loving and safe. Take about 10 minutes each day to rest and focus in this manner.
On the mat… notice if your practice is more focused on pushing your body to achieve the ‘perfect pose’ and if you are on auto-pilot slinging yourself through the flow as you have for years. Cultivate a practice that not only includes a sankulpa (intention) but also practice intentionally with an open awareness of what you need to be more expansive, loving and compassionate with your body and its ever shifting state. Pay more attention to your breath than the pose. I know… super hard! Admit which poses are causing you pain or discomfort and have the courage to modify or let them go.
Chant ‘Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Maha Lakshmi Namah’ drawing abundant love, success and joy into your life. Lakshmi is a highly revered Hindu goddess that brings you success in any new endeavor, so invoke her presence to help shift your samskaras toward the three S’s!
Relish in the unique feeling-tone of deep self-love and compassion (karuna). Own what you are struggling with by admitting it to your loved ones and yourself. Do some writing exercises (I’d love to work with you privately on this) that help bring awareness and forgiveness into your life. Look at your past experiences and family history for clues on how this aspect of yourself developed. By instilling these feelings deep within your being you will naturally become more tolerant, expansive and loving to those around you.
Gratitude, Peace & Love. I am honored to this practice and journey with you.