Last week was not an especially good week. . . in my mind that is. Let’s face it, if we all walked around with a stock market style ticker running across our forehead revealing the thoughts in our heads, we’d all be glimpsing a little bit of madness.
Originally, I was drawn to yoga for its ability to help quiet the incessant thoughts in my head. I say quiet, because our thoughts are as much a function of our brain as respiration is a function of our lungs. The complete eradication of thought is simply not going to happen. Thoughts are not BAD. However, they can be out of balance and counter-productive.
Usually, my asana practice helps me to calm the negative thoughts and expectations of perfection and maintain a healthier balance. Last week though, I struggled with tightness and pain in my hips, back and neck. I also struggled with the perpetual “to-do list” and feeling overwhelmed, spread too thin and way behind. I struggled with feeling out of control – the exact opposite of what a yoga teaching mama should feel, right?
According to B.K.S. Iyengar, yoga is a method of silencing the vibrations of chitta. Chitta is the consciousness which includes the mind, the intellect and the ego.
Click here for a more in-depth explanation of yoga chitta vritti nirodha
I admit that I struggle with a consistent meditation and contemplation practice, especially when I am in a state of imbalance or chitta vritti (mind chatter). However, meditation and mental training is precisely the antidote for the frenzied or chaotic activity my mind falls victim to. I know this and yet I struggle to find my practice.
As this new year draws near, I will resist the urge to set resolutions of “improving myself” or “correcting behavior”. Rather, I am committing to turning inward, committing to contemplation, focus and meditation. I will commit to discovering who I am beneath the ridiculous expectations, lists and frenzied mind chatter. I am hereby committing to my meditation cushion and contemplation without judgment, just 5 minutes a day. And when I inevitable “fall off” the cushion. . .
I will keep coming back.
Who’s with me?