I begin the majority of my classes in child’s pose. I speak through the Ujjayi breath, inhaling to warm the back of your throat and filling your lungs and belly with air. As you exhale through the same pathway, create a sounding breath like an ocean on a calm day, rock your forehead side to side and begin to empty all thought. Sounds good, right? Very poetic like. Well then why didn’t you do it? Why are you still thinking about your work day, the kids, the bills…Let that shit go! Your mat is a great crap keeper and at the end of the class all those thoughts will still be there. But for now, they are of no use to you.
Now think, if you cannot practice emptying your thoughts for a 60-minute yoga class how are you to do it in your life. Ask yourself, when are you truly present in life or are you constantly internally distracted? So often we are filled with negative self-talk that we begin to break ourselves down. This then creates a spiral of self-doubt and fear to live our lives the way we deserve. I once told my daughter that for every negative self-talk spoken, she needed to say 5 positives. Her response, “Then, I’ll never leave the house.” It is sad when the chatter is so loud we can’t hear anything else.
Meditation is the unification of breath and mindfulness. Through this practice, we can begin to let go of negative internal thoughts and bridge these memories to lessons learned. We can get rid of the preconceived expectations that everything needs to be perfect all the time. When we detach ourselves from emotional feelings positive or negative, we can then except that things just are what they are. Return yourself to your breath, your steady state, be aware that you mind is part of your practice and not your enemy.
Stacie A. Zamperini M.Ed.