Day 72 of 90 straight days of hot yoga at Modo yoga and today entering class I was feeling weighed down. Not by anything really, just the day itself. So I laid on my mat and focused on the breath, allowing the day to fall away, and as practice began, what I felt had fallen away, did not. My practice felt like work, the body felt heavy, and the legs were wobbly. So through my practice of acceptance, I accepted where I was at, which helped loosen some things up. But over all, today the practice was heavy.
Teacher Emily B was wonderful sharing a story of snow boarding, and strapping ourselves in for the ride. Now what I noticed is when the practice feels almost like a grind, the easy path is to beat yourself up, but yoga is about acceptance, and acceptance is gentleness and compassion which starts with us.
So when I felt myself wanting to push through, I labeled it, “pushing” and the pushing went away. In every single spiritual practice, whether we know it or not, the reason why we beat ourselves up is because we begin to see that it is happening inside of us, and rather than be with the experience, we negate it, and when you negate something, it is easier to harm, punish, or hurt. It is why people judge and criticize others, it negates the person, and gives them permission in their mind to harm with judgments, hurts, or punishment. All control is selfish and lacks love.
It happens in the politics of war. We negate a country which gives us permission to judge it, hurt it, and bomb it. By negating we dehumanize something. And we realize that there is no one to blame anymore, which can be frustrating, and we feel like we “should” be past this, or “this again!” But none of it is true. We just don’t want to accept what is, so it is subtle. The mind takes us out of the experience, and then breath puts us back in and says, “Yes David this where we are, now receive the breath and give it away.” So I just started a mantra, “I receive the breath” on the inhale and on the exhale, “I give it away.” Simple.