I’m in the middle of my own 300hr yoga teacher training (will share more on that when I’m done with it), and a number of my modules have been on meditation, mindfulness, and the more therapeutic side of yoga. There’s an interesting juxtaposition that happens when I travel for my training (it requires a two hour flight and a two hour drive each time I go) - I stress about getting down there, but then once I’m there, my training modules are all so mellow, so I wind up chilling out and feeling so much better by the end of the module.
I’ve noticed in the past, when stressful situations would arise, I would immediately react. My body would respond in a knee-jerk reaction. My heart would race, my blood would feel like it was boiling. My stomach would hurt. The adrenaline would rush through my veins.
But slowly, over the last few months, I’ve noticed a shift in how I handle stressful situations. Subconsciously, I started applying the lessons of yoga. Somewhere along the way, I started simply trusting that everything would be okay, and tried out actively suppressing any knee-jerk reaction. Instead, I practiced total acceptance, contentment, and a sense of trust. If you’re big into yoga, you know these sound a lot like the yamas and niyamas. I started surrendering and instead of channeling my energy into the worst case scenario, I channeled the energy into simply trusting.
It’s not always easy, but I had many opportunities to practice :)
Someone threatened to sue me. My heart pounded, the adrenaline rushed through my veins. But then I decided to trust. (So far, no litigation.)
Someone else kept avoiding payment for a major invoice we’d sent. Finally, I had to just sever all ties, which at long last got the person’s attention, but once again, the energy was super negative. Instead of reacting, I just stated the facts, and moved on. I didn’t wallow; I didn’t dwell.
I had a module with an extremely knowledgeable yet totally unprofessional teacher, and still, instead of letting my frustrations explode as I might’ve done in the past, I simply acknowledged the frustrations, and let them go, trusting that there was a lesson there somewhere.
I could spend hours listing all the stressful situations that have arisen in the last few months, but what’s most important is the fact that it’s not really about the stressful situations (they’ll always be there - that’s just part of life), but it’s my reaction to the stressful situations that are making all the difference.
I think that’s one of the things I’ve come back to as I move through my own training and continue to lead Namaslay® 200hr Yoga Teacher Trainings - we always have a choice in how we feel. And how we react to situations influences how we feel. For so many years, I was defensive, and angry, and pushed back against everything. I was the very definition of knee-jerk reactions. But over time, allowing myself to just surrender to what is has been a world of difference. My anxiety levels have calmed down, my stress levels are far lower, and I just feel good about life. When you make up your mind that no matter what situation falls upon you, there is either a lesson, a plan, or something more to it, and you can just surrender and trust. And things, so far, have worked out just fine.