We all have people who challenge us in some way, often those closest to us. The yoga teachings say that no matter how much we’d like to, we can never change someone else. All we can change is how we react to them.
Fortunately, that’s usually enough. I learned the wonderful meditation below when I took yoga therapist training many years ago. Give it a try. You might be surprised at the results!
Pratipaska Bhavanam Meditation: Replacing with the Opposites,
- Sit comfortably, with your spine erect and the crown of your head floating up to the ceiling. Sitting either in a chair or on the floor is fine, as long as you are physically comfortable and your spine is in “neutral.”
- Allow your eyes to close and your focus to go internal.
- Notice your breath—without intentionally trying to change it. Feel the warmth and coolness of the breath at the tip of your nostrils. Allow your mind to focus on and pay attention to this feeling of the breath. This will be your anchor and where you will invite your attention whenever your mind wanders.
- Bring to mind an interaction that was stressful or contentious in some way in a relationship that’s important to you. Something that challenged you and in which you reacted with anger, fear, stress or frustration.
- Try to really feel and “re-live” that interaction.
- What did you feel in your muscles?
- How did your breath change?
- What sensations did you feel in your jaw and face?
- Were you hot or cold?
- What sensations did you feel internally in your throat, your stomach, your chest?
- Were your hands, toes, or teeth clenched?
- What facial expression do you imagine you wore?
- What was your “inner dialogue” like? Did you attribute intentions or motives to the person with whom you were interacting?
- What message did your energy send to that other person?
- Now, imagine what it would have felt like—been like—had you instead reacted to the other person with the energy of love, light, and understanding.
- What do you feel in your muscles?
- What is the rhythm of your breath?
- What sensations do you feel in your jaw and face?
- Are your hands, toes, and jaw relaxed?
- What sensations do you feel internally in your throat, your stomach, your chest?
- What facial expression do you imagine you are wearing?
- What is your “inner dialogue” like? Do you attribute intentions or motives to the person you are interacting with?
- What message does your energy send to the person with whom you are interacting?
- If your attention wanders (and it will!) just notice it, and invite your attention back to the sensation of the breath at the tip of your nose. Then return to your peaceful place and begin again.
- Continue this meditation for 10 minutes or longer if you’d like.
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out my author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!