If you’ve ever been at the center of an emotional storm, or a storm of thoughts we can call it, then you know how real these sensations can get. Those raw feelings of pain, hurt, anger, even embarrassment are all very real emotions...but they are impermanent. As you sit here now for this meditative practice, I invite you to pay attention to your thoughts about and the way you respond to these sensations.
It’s hard to put yourself in danger when you’re in a comfortable, seated position on the floor, and this becomes our safe space to practice equanimity. There is no physical risk in a negative thought or a foot falling asleep or an itch on your nose from this seat. You might have the desire to move, shift your weight, or otherwise fix the discomfort - but don’t. Take advantage of this opportunity to practice neutrality.
When your muscles burn or your mind aches, let it be. Recognize the sensation and let it go. Remember you are not your body, and this is your chance to practice and hone the mental peace and acuity that comes with Anapanasati.
If the physical discomfort or emotional narration in your mind distracts you, always bring your attention back to the breath. The natural flow of your ingoing and outgoing breath will calm your mind and replace it with the peaceful neutrality that comes when you recognize that nothing is permanent, not even your breath. It leaves you as soon as it enters, only to come back again and again.
No matter what emotional or physical turmoil you are facing today, your feelings are valid. Yet it makes no sense to force permanence when nature itself is inherently impermanent. You know how you feel will not last, so stand, or actually — sit comfortably with me in the open field of awareness and remember you are not permanent, your body is not permanent, so why would these emotional storms be permanent?
The Buddha teaches us that life is suffering, but these teachings also recognize the cause of and relief for that suffering. No matter your faith or religious beliefs, this meditation practice is meant to empower you and the way you think about your suffering. From a small cramp in yoga practice to an emotionally draining argument with a loved one, you can harness the power to calm your mind and embrace these experiences.
For more information on meditation and the Buddha, check out my teaching schedule, blogs, and more on Kinoyoga.com. Or get in touch with me on Instagram @kinoyoga and @omstarsofficial.
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If you have an interesting experience on the yoga mat to share, get in touch with me at email@example.com. You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast.