A YOGI CHA BLOG
ARE YOU COMMITTED TO YOUR LIFE?
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. When not teaching, I enjoy learning and writing (my blog) about both eastern and western approaches to body-mind union.
All those words of wisdom coming out of my mouth, are they having an effect on me? We get so entangled in our thoughts; I get tired of my world. I know the answer to this; I have given it to others. But when it comes to oneself it sometimes seems like just words, impossible to take in. I get so tired of figuring life out. But we can’t just check out, we have to do the best of what we have. I know that this perception is wrong knowledge (Viparyaya YS 1.8) simply because in reality life is extra ordinary. Each instant is unique, there is beauty in all. So what do you do when you can’t feel it, when you’re stuck?
It all comes down to creating awareness. The pain is to be understood and used. It is to be tapped into so that you can increase the self knowledge. It is the only way. You need to create the space for it, not hide it or it will act like a rash that you put cortisone on. It will pop up somewhere else and most probably become worse. Nip it in the bud. Find the source. Follow the red thread leading to the source. Oscillating between trusting the process, moving on and then wanting to check out and say I’m fed up with it all.
But that is work, it takes dedication. I think the trust comes with the process, the more you practice and actually see results, the more you believe in it. The more you believe in it, the stronger the dedication.
“I know that it’s working because I have seen it”. But only when you keep on practicing can you actually see the result. So in the end it’s a circle. One depends on the other. Just like my writing. I need to dedicate both time and space to it for the inspiration to flow. If I’m just going around doing other things with the excuse that I don’t feel the inspiration to write, it won’t just appear.
Everything demands dedication. Work. Step by step you come to the different realizations during this journey but it takes your commitment. Are you committed to your life?
THE IMPORTANCE OF A ROOM
Through experience, we learn. By making mistakes we become better at understanding, faster at seeing the relationship between an action and a reaction. Often, we get stuck in conditioned thought patterns that are making us believe that we cannot control our own world and life. Feeling good, being healthy and have a bright view on the world isn’t impossible but it takes commitment. In a world of more and more uncertainties, less commitments and constant change, we have forgotten the first thing we need to engage in. Our Lives. (Abhyasa YS 1.13)
Create bodily awareness to learn how to read the signals of imbalance. We feel our energy being strong or weak, we feel high and awake or low and tired. We feel heavy or light, we are sleeping well or not. We also feel our muscles operating well or not. A strong and healthy body will help the mind to settle and feel strong, to find balance. When we learn to read body signals, we can take example on that to learn how to find mental balance. When I notice the signals the body sends me, I will attend to them. I’ll do the opposite of what I might have done too much so that the body can catch up to come back to balance.
And just like the physiological balance is something you need to constantly maintain, so does the mental and emotional. Often we don’t understand that we treat the body very differently to the rest. I can see when I haven’t been cautious with its balance if I get ill or injured or so. But I don’t see it as easily on the less tangible level.
There is a need to make room for your wellbeing. You need to dedicate space for body balance and it implies a daily routine (sadhana). Waking up at an appropriate time according to your constitution, a physical activity in that same spirit and eating the right food for your physical health. This needs to be followed by the necessary amount of rest.
You need to make room in your life for mental and emotional balance. When we are unbalanced by a heavy dark mind or heart, we need to balance it out by practicing the opposite. (YS 1.33) If you notice a mental fatigue due to too much social activity and very little stillness, it might be time to turn inwards for some time. Simply the sudden need of social acceptance and worry that you are not enough could be a sign that you have not valued some “me-time” for a while.
The problem is that we identify with our thoughts ( Vrittis YS 1.4). You need to see the state of mind that you are in as a symptom of your balance, not as an actual reality. When you are physically too tired to lift something you usually can hold, you can easily see that you need to rest before doing the job. You do not label yourself with the sudden weakness. But when it comes to the mind, we are so conditioned to believe whatever it tells us. I think that when you have become aware of the fact that you can observe the thought patterns and use that as a diagnosis of the current balance, then you have managed to create distance between you and your mind.
A way to reestablish emotional balance is to create pleasurable sensations within. The more pleasure we can bring in, the easier it will be to start feeling good again. You are increasing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain – that is also physical balance, homeostasis is global balance in the body.
This is where we often go wrong. We will tend to turn towards creating pleasure when down but instead of actual pleasure, we easily turn towards the distortions that we have become addicted to in order to flee the pain. When they are not improving our state, we increase the imbalance. And so the vicious circle begins.
The French say “mieux vaut prévenir que guérir”. It means that prevention is better that to cure.
If you can dedicate yourself to keep a balance, it will be easier to tackle the difficulties when they come on. Each time you are unbalanced, see it as a signal to restore! Don’t take your thoughts for the truth, take them as your current state of balance.
You also need to dedicate space for creation and recreation. This space will be dependent on your honesty concerning your distortions from your fears. You need to acknowledge that you have distortions helping you to flee the present moment. This is not the same thing as recreation. The room you are making in your life for creativity and play needs to be an active switch off from expectations and result driven activities. It needs to bring joyful sensations to your being that will also then reenergise you. The ways to avoid the present moment are not actually recreational activities, even if we tend to pretend that they are.
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