July 18, 2024
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Article Philosophy

YOGA AND THE INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH OURSELVES

Sensing Our Experiences

Words: Juliette Karaman

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

Gandhi
What does it mean to be connected with our bodies and senses?

Cultivating a healthy relationship with our body means two things: one, feeling really in tune with ourselves and our bodies physically and second, paying attention to what is going on through our mind and our senses.

We can start cultivating a connection with our senses and our mind by paying attention to the four elements that make up any experience: images, thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.

All experiences are made up of 4 elements: an image, a thought, an emotion and a body sensation. Most often we have no idea that this is the content that we bring up when we experience something, so already the action of looking at this and inquiring about this is cultivating awareness.

Once we can experience these 4 elements, and to really feel them, we see the image (using the sense of sight), we think the thought (and often we may even hear ourselves thinking, or hear what accompanies that thought), we experience the emotion (again using all our senses, being deeply in the experience) and experience the body sensations.

We now know that what you believe are the thoughts running through your head, and the thoughts often provoke an emotion. This emotion may trigger a body sensation and this in turn creates an action.

How do yoga and meditation help us on this path?

Yoga and meditation are more than just physical practices: they are ways to connect deeply with ourselves. Our relationship with ourselves is the most important, intimate relationship we will ever have.

It shapes our sense of self-worth, our ability to make decisions, and our overall well-being. When we are in tune with our needs, we are better able to care for ourselves and make choices that serve us. However, with the rat race of life, it is easy to get disconnected from our bodies and stuck in thought patterns that keep us looping in the same wheel of unstoppable thought patterns. Through yoga and meditation, we learn to be more compassionate with ourselves and notice the patterns we are running. The awareness we cultivate helps us move through these patterns and brings us more clarity and ease, patience, and an ability to listen to and understand others. The practice of yoga and meditation brings us closer to ourselves, and the ripple effect of this deeper connection is deeply felt by others.

Many of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behaviours are controlled by our subconscious mind, which is responsible for 95% of our life. This means that most of what we do is not in our conscious awareness. Therefore, practices like hypnotherapy, NLP, and other methods that help us get in touch with the subconscious mind to change our patterns of behaviour work well.

We cultivate that practice in the framework of cultivating those elements with self-compassion, selfcare, and self-awareness. When we take the time to slow down and listen to ourselves, we can identify areas of our lives that need attention and make changes that align with our values and goals.

How can you self-sabotage your well being?

Sometimes we can do things unconsciously that are self sabotages for us. Procrastination, or telling ourselves that we don’t have time to meditate or do some of the work might interfere with our results. “What we put our attention on grows”, so when you put your attention on being present, that is the consciousness you bring into your life.

The physical practice to get onto the mat may often be challenging. We often tell ourselves we do not have time for this, yet when we do take the time to consistently show up for ourselves and to slow down the brain, it starts to find new pathways and starts to rewire.

When we are stuck in a thought pattern of negativity that is what we bring in more of!

By focusing on the breath in yoga and meditation, we learn how to still the monkey mind. Awareness of body sensations and how our body feels in this moment, on the mat or in the meditation position helps focus the mind on 1 thing and no thoughts start to appear, the state of no thoughts, and oneness appears.

The physical practice of yoga postures (asanas), has us go inwards and focus on what is happening inside our body (body sensations), how we use our breath and has us still our monkey mind. Quieting the mind is a key activity to releasing stress, it helps with sleep and our overall health.

Little and often is better than long and non frequent. By removing all thoughts, and let’s face it, we are meaning making machines, we get off the hamster wheel of whatever doomsday scenario we have thought up, which in turn loads into the body and creates dis-ease!

To overcome this obstacles you might find useful to go to a yoga class on line or in person and try a different style, be curious about yourself, what thoughts are going through your head as you try a new position. Are you comparing yourself to others? Are you happy to be in the moment and to celebrate for showing up for yourself. Notice where you may have a need to be validated. Being in a like-minded community helps bring forth change and the sense of belonging.

Practical tips to keep going with yoga and awareness

If you don’t have a lot of time, the thing you CAN do (it’s just 2 minutes!) is to set an alarm for 3 times 2 minutes per day. Check in with yourself; Do a body check and notice where your breath lands, is there any constriction or temperature in that part of your body where your breath lands. Now what is the thought? Think that thought. What is the image – See that image. What is the emotion? Feel that emotion. Now check in with your body again, what are the sensations, have they moved, changed and feel those again.

New thoughts, images, emotions and body sensations may come up, we call that content. So take another breath and repeat. 90 seconds of this will quickly clear all the content and have you feel much more present and aware. It would be really useful for you to repeat 3 times a day. Then, a more peaceful and easeful life starts to occur, not only for yourself but also for those around you.

If you have a little more time, you can set a timer for 15 minutes and do some yin yoga. This is not about how much we can stretch or push our body, but it is all about the awareness of our bodies in this time and space.

Other useful practices can be:

  • Journal about your day, what new awareness did you have today? What are the 5 things you are grateful for? What are 2 qualities about yourself that you noticed that you are proud of.
  • Put on a guided meditation with binaural beats and listen to it as you drift off to sleep
  • Go for a walk in nature, and do a walking meditation either a guided one, or self guided. Have one question in your mind and as you walk around, notice how the universe is sending you signals to answer your question.
  • Drink lots of water and abstain from looking at your phone late at night and first thing in the morning so as not to override what is going on for you.
  • Practice self touch. Focus on one area of your body and explore with different kinds of touch, different kind of strokes, pressure, direction. Stay curious and notice how these sensations have you feel.
  • Keep a record of some of the beliefs you grew up with. Are they yours or where they told to you by your parents, school, peers, society. Start to look at if you still believe that today.

Juliette Karaman is a certified hypnotherapist and mind and body coach, expert on relationships, sensuality, healing, trauma and body shame. She specialises in the reinvention of the most intimate relationship in life. The one you have with yourself. With courses, coaching, VIP experiences and retreats Juliette has guided and mentored thousands of women over the past decade and a half, rewrite the relationship with self, confidence, their bodies, mind and spirit using her unique Rapid Release Rewire and Restore method™. Her mission is to create a world where every woman remembers the truth of who they are and where scrumptiousness, pleasure, ease, spirituality and sensuality are prioritised.
https://feelfullyyou.com/
https://www.instagram.com/juliettekaraman/
https://www.facebook.com/juliette.karamanvanschaardenburg/

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