Yesterday I read a post about a new movement in yoga called Rage Yoga. People practice asana but they can yell out obscenities and take breaks to drink beer. The tagline for this movement is Zen as F*ck. I read the slick article and clicked on the links. She’s got it going on, I thought…multiple classes, t-shirts, and discounted pints of beer in the classes.
Recently in a practice I found myself absorbed in distracting thought. I was consumed by the rising tide of my daughter’s wedding week. What had I done right, what had I done wrong, why didn’t I have enough time to do everything, etc. I was a mental mess.
Then my teacher said, ‘Let your thoughts dissolve until you arrive in the present moment.’ When she said that, we were all working very hard physically. I felt a ping when she said those words...'That's right..I'm here to stop thinking.' 45 minutes later most of those thoughts HAD dissolved and I had a glimpse of the present moment.
And to me that is yoga. Doing the work of the postures over and over, and over again to connect with my SELF in that brief present moment and to then shine that present moment self back out into the world. To arrive into stillness and nectar even for just a minute, but long enough to know that stillness and peace are my true Self and to feel the power of that and fuel my life and work through it.
Anger, rage and betrayal are heavy energy emotions. They have dark energy, and the way out of them is through disciplined effort of not allowing them more space in my mind or body than they deserve. All the times I’ve spent indulging my need to bitch or moan about people, things, disservices done to me…those sessions didn’t move me forward and they used up a lot of energy. They drained me. Working to dissolve that energy isn’t easy, but that is what meditation and yoga can do for us. Recognize that negativity is there, but don’t give it a place at the table. Turn your attention to the work of finding healthier thoughts.
Ideas percolate to find hosts and a hot one right now is the lesson that we all think habitually—we put our tires into the ruts in our thought roads and we naturally stay there. We think the same thoughts all the time.
Finding new paths or ruts requires work. That work is comprised of cultivating healthy thoughts and training myself into them through meditation and asana. These practices require that I either ignore the repetitive thoughts (meditation) or work so hard that I can't think the negative thoughts (asana). In these practices I disconnect from monkey me and tune into divinely powered me. It's happily addictive because it feels so good.
We all need this. You’re not your thoughts. Do the work to turn from your habit thoughts to happy thoughts and find ways to feed those happy thoughts so they fuel you.