3.28.2012

In Search of: Emotional Balance

I started practicing yoga a year ago this month (!), but didn't really notice a change until late last year. Starting sometime last summer, I started experiencing a release of negative energy during Shavasana and then later, off the mat, which has been troubling me.

I was starting to think that trying to obtain peace on the mat would never translate to a realistic goal, much less to peace off the mat.

I also started to think I must be taking things too seriously to have so many negative reactions and almost-outbursts.

I also thought that some people around me were perhaps trying harder to push my buttons. Perhaps a little paranoid at first, but then you start noticing patterns. Are toxic people in my life?

All in all, I think what is going on is actually a combination of environment (what happens that I have no control over), personal perspective (how I feel and how I react), and people around me (who push my buttons on purpose or unintentionally--or worse as a joke).

Most of all, however, I think that progress and flexibility on the mat have translated into a release of pent-up emotional and physical knots. I've heard that we hold emotions and stress in the belly, in the hips, and in the shoulders.

Each time I achieve a little progress in flexibility of a particular trouble spot, I may need to prepare to expect the release of that negative energy in some way, shape, or form.

Yoga is said to be a practice where we don't see progress, but notice a gradual change as we get better a little at a time.  Some days you feel very balanced, and on another day your tree pose is almost impossible to hold.

being in the now, I saw this budding tree
It's been a little scary being more emotional than usual. I've mostly attributed this to my mourning grandma. Although we're three months past, this has been a really hard knock to bear.

As part of my "checking in" practice off the mat, I started a little self management exercise whenever I notice I'm down  a negative thought spiral. Since I mostly focus on the past leading into negative spirals, I started saying to myself out loud: "that is in the past, you are in this moment now. What is going on in this moment?" and it's helped me refocus at each instance. Each time gets a little better.

I've begun to make peace with the moment, with the now. The past has always been forefront in my mind, but I'm trying to make each moment of now overshadow everything else. I want the now to be all it can be. By doing all I can with the now, I can rest assured I'm already taking care of what will come.