We’ve been practicing silence every morning from the moment we wake until the end of our first asana practice. I’ve already noticed a shift in my yoga practice in that I’m observing my thoughts much more than before. The hard part is not letting them guide me but staying neutral (nonjudgmental) and letting them just pass by like clouds in the sky. I’m sticking to breath. I love the practice of silence because it enables me to take my practice of concentration and breathing off of the mat.
We’ve had a few classes that have helped us to identify and begin to face personal challenges. Personal challenges being things that have stopped me from pushing forward or have held me back from being myself. Things, people or situations that I fear. Through this process I discovered my negative self-talk.
I was startled by these thoughts in my first attempt at practice teaching to a group. My thoughts were loud and repetitive to the point that my posture was caving in and my speech was paralyzed when it was time to teach. I thought to myself – I’ve lectured to large groups in the past, what’s going on here? In discussions with my teachers post class, I have learned that it’s more than just being a content expert. Its the ability to connect with the individuals in the room. This type of teaching is not something you can just make up or fake your way through. Teaching must be authentic for growth of the student and teacher. My negative thinking in this context also helped me to reflect on my actions and on my relationships in various settings. What am I afraid of? What purpose do these thoughts have? They’re damaging me, not motivating me.
It bothers me to think that most other people are held back because of such negative thoughts driven by fears or thoughts about the future or past. It also makes me sad that we as a society are so out of touch with the present (here and now)…what’s actually real.
My emotions continue to be all over the place, but I won’t cling on to these sensations for long. Just experience them and then let go.
I’m left wondering: how do I want to be?