A bit more seriously, there was a time not long ago when I felt like this much of the time...tense, on edge, pretty much unable to relax. I decided to take a yoga class to try to help me through this problem...maybe if I could find the right class, one that could help me to slow down and BREATHE, I would lose some of this type-A energy, also known as stress.
Thursday night is yoga night, and last week we learned about the Niyamas...not that this is the first time I've heard this stuff, I basically take the same class over and over again, since it is taught as a 10 or 12 week class through the City. The Niyamas are rules by which to live your life...they are, in a very basic, simple form:
Saucha - purityI decided that what I needed to do to calm my churning self was to concentrate on surrender... surrender to joy, to the happiness that's trying to get in, to calm. Don't let all of the distractions of the world get in the way of my meditation, my study. So during class, when my mind would wander over to dinner, or my blog, or how I feel like I've gained a few pounds, or how I sure HOPE that this cooler weather lasts, or the fact that I kind of wished I was going to BlogHer, but I wasn't, I tried to bring the focus back to class by thinking one word...surrender. Surrender, surrender, surrender. We started the class with some chanting, Ooooommmmmm, oooooommmmmm, ooooommmmm....we've never tried this before, and the teacher promised us it would calm us, and we would feel very different by the end of class. I failed. I chanted with the rest of them, but I was still churning. Thankfully, something about the combination of pushing my body into these poses, twisting and stretching, and at the same time concentrating on one word...surrender...it did work. Not as much as I had hoped, not as much as some previous times in the past, but it did work. So, that's my new mantra. Surrender. Surrender to the moment, to joy, to peace. Let it overtake me and diffuse frustrating situations.
Santosh - contentment
Tapas - austerity
Swadhyaya - study
Ishvar Pranidhana - surrender
I find it difficult to explain the concept of surrender without it feeling like giving up power...but really, I think it's different. You don't have to give up power, you don't have to surrender to what is wrong and harsh in this world. But surrender to what is right, and let it in. It may help to stop the churning.