In class Thursday evening, we used the following passage to connect our minds and bodies. Pain is definitely a difficult subject to tackle. It has cost each of us so many hours of our lives. It is allowed to however. Pain will happen to all of us and has happened to all of us. Being mindful of the present moment in regards to it is a skill necessary of practice. And this practice is not limited to simply seated, standing in Mountain or laying down in Savasana. Mindfulness of pain and the present moment can happen during any task. It just takes time and practice to become more aware of the affect pain has on us. I’m still practicing, so do not expect day number one to show incredible signs of release and enlightenment :). One day at a time and one moment at a time is all you need to deal with the struggle all of us face with pain. Take yoga with you off your mat today and enjoy the last day of summer!
Mindfulness for Anxiety-Based Depression
“Mindfulness meditation does not require closing one’s eyes, although often people find that comfortable. I usually close my eyes when I am sitting, but I open them if I am sleepy. I can still be paying attention to my process; I can feel my body; I can feel my breath; I can attend to my mind states. A person could think of themselves as a mindfulness practitioner and never sit down. You could walk for your entire practice. You can cook mindfully, clean house mindfully, do any job mindfully. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention with the hope of seeing more clearly what is happening inside and outside. If I see more clearly, I will be able to respond in a way that doesn’t cause suffering to myself or anyone else.”
Pain doesn’t go away as a result of a meditation practice. Even long-term meditators experience the ordinary losses that being human entails. However, the recognition of impermanence that comes with meditation practice helps support the understanding that the pain will pass. We don’t need to identify with our pain, our depression, or even our negative thoughts about ourselves. We don’t have to suffer more because we’re in pain, which is what happens when we find ourselves unable to acknowledge and simply accept the pain. Sitting in meditation, attending to the passing thoughts and feelings, helps us notice just how fleeting our feeling states are. Suffering is resistance to the pain; suffering is struggling with the pain; suffering is saying that it should be otherwise. Don’t talk about the end of the pain. Talk about the end of the struggle with what it is.
BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintraub