Last night, during my yin yoga practice, all I did was kept saying was “shut up”…to myself.
NO, I am not losing it.
For those of you who didn’t read a recent blog of mine that talked about the benefits of yin yoga (which are great), I ask you to go back, find it and read up on it….Go on, the rest of us will wait for you.
Caught up? Good.
The practice of yin yoga is a very intense one. The postures, while are not overly complicated, are very difficult to hold for long periods of time. The main reason is because they are extremely uncomfortable. We are told to push ourselves to our own limit without causing ourselves pain. Going to the limit physically has an impact on you mentally.
Inside, as you are performing these uber-intense hip openers, you are saying to yourself, “get me out of here, this is bloody uncomfortable. I want to be any place but here. Please, lord make it stop! Damn this hurts….”
The challenge is to breathe, in through the nose and out through the nose and push yourself through the posture to its end. The discomfort you experience takes you away from the mat and the practice. Your mind begins to wander…thoughts of wanting the pose to end or thinking beyond the pose to other stuff that is swimming around your mind, begins to creep in. Some of the stuff you begin thinking of is a replay of the day’s events, things that need to be done after the practice is finished or worry about stuff in the future or obsessing about the past.
At my last yin class, my mind would not stop blabbing. Yes, the poses were intense and yes I wanted them to be over and no, I wasn’t listening as intently as I should have to the instructor who was educating us on our bodies and how they react to stress or adversity. I was there in body….but not in mind (at least not as much as I would have liked).
The teacher told us that it was okay to have wandering thoughts. She told us that if we went back to our breath that our focus would soon return. I desperately wanted to believe her but that particular night…it was so not happening.
We were doing many hip-opening postures. Apparently many of us carry alot of our stress in our hips….that is where it physically manifests. Well my hips didn’t lie…boy, were they ever tight and painful. All the breathing in the world could not have distracted me from that intense sensation.
Walking home after class, I reviewed the class in my mind; remembering all the helpful pieces of information our teacher provided us on stress and the body and the benefits of maintaining a yin practice.
But maintaining your stress levels isn’t only done with practicing yin yoga. It totally has to do with the mind and how you can control what kinds of information you bring into it. It has everything to do with the positive thoughts that you need to place in your mind. It has everything to do with not worrying about the future which can take up a lot of energy and effort…for no good reason. It has alot to do with not thinking about the past and what you should have or shouldn’t have done. When a moment passes it is over and done with and cannot be replayed or redone.
Yin yoga helps you train your mind to operate this way. If negative thoughts creep into the picture…that is ok…so long as they come in and then leave just as quickly. If they linger around for a while, that is not a good thing….you have to force them out!!
I will continue with my ying practice. It is a practice and a journey I am committed to.