Mindfulness Monday: Is This the Winter of Your Discontent?
If you live on the east coast anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line (and even somewhat south) you can probably relate to the the meme below. It’s been a long winter, and it feels like it just keeps coming back.
This weekend I attended a yoga workshop organized around the idea of santosha. Namely, finding contentment even in less than ideal circumstances. It’s normal and even ok most of the time to reach for things outside of ourselves to find pleasure. What’s empowering about the yogic idea of santosha is the belief that contentment already lies within us and we can bring it up at any point. Not to say that we stop intentionally evolving, more that we are at peace with what is as we continue to move forward.
Hopefully spring will starting getting it’s act together soon. In the meantime, consider one or all of the following practices to find a sense of satisfaction in what is (even if what is is freakin’ cold!):
-Practice makes perfect content: Perform a yoga practice with the intention of accepting what is in regards to your body. Modify poses as necessary to feel as good as possible and breathe through the tough parts. Allow yourself to experience the practice without holding onto any preconceived notions about what poses should look or feel like.
-Shift grumpy thoughts with gratitude: Before heading to bed at night, write down three things you are grateful for today. Even if all you can come up with is not getting hit by a bus, shifting to a grateful mindset can edge the brain towards more positive thoughts and increase well-being.
-Try a visualization meditation: Visualize a time and a place where you felt utterly fulfilled. Conjure up as many details as you can such as location, who you are with, sights, smells, and sounds. Stay with the feeling for as long as you have time for. Though mindfulness meditation is important in its own way, visualization helps us realize that we have the power to create specific emotional states all on our own.
For more mind/soul melding techniques head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!