Friday, May 13, 2011

Continuing Education - MBSR Silent Retreat #2

As mentioned, May is turning out to be a challenging month for us. Jason and I have both recognized an increase in our anxious, sad, angry, frustrated feelings this month.

We were talking about how we wished there was another level to the MBSR course we took earlier this year. We've been doing yoga on our own daily and at the studio on Sundays. This has helped immensely with keeping these brewing feelings at bay, but as for dealing with it in the overall sense, it's still really hard to stay calm inside. Alas, there is not another "level" to the MBSR course, so we resigned to the fact that there is always room to learn more on our own and work on our meditative and yoga practices in our own way.

However, the very next day, we get an email from the MBSR director inviting us, as MBSR alumni, to join the current class's silent retreat. We were thrilled and accepted the invitation immediately.

I'm pretty sure that this silent retreat is going to be much more emotionally charged than the one we attended in February. In fact, the next day after accepting the invitation, Jason and I both admitted that we kind of thought it might be too hard right now and maybe we should decline. However, noticing and recognizing this fear made us realize that we probably need to do this now more than ever. I have so much in my head that I need to sort out, shelve, or let go of.

So Sunday we will be participating in our second 6 hour silent retreat (I'm gonna bring a hankie because I know there will be tears this time).

On a side note: if you're interested in yoga for stress reduction and meditation, I really recommend Hatha yoga. It's the type that we do (there are MANY types of yoga out there). Here is a diagram of the poses and the Sanskrit terms for each.

Hatha represents opposing energies: hot and cold (fire and water, following similar concept as yin-yang), male and female, positive and negative. Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures or "asanas", purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation. Asanas teach poise, balance and strength and are practiced to improve the body's physical health and clear the mind in preparation for meditation.

Some people find this type of yoga too slow, but I like it. I like building my mind and body as one. Also, Hatha allows and encourages us to let go of the what if's,  the should've/could've, the supposed to be's, the right, the wrong, and the perfect. It encourages us to live in the moment and ride the thing that IS. Quoting Leonard Cohen (again), it encourages us to "Forget your perfect offering."

I have to constantly remind myself that this life will keep on going whether I take the right step or the wrong step. I can't dwell on decisions and choices of the past because they don't exist anymore and I can't worry about the future because it has yet to exist.

All we have is now and all we can hope for is tomorrow.

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