Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year, New Changes. Are We Ready?

Every new day, every new year brings some changes with it. We are hopeful, fearful, wishful and determined of many things that lay ahead of us this year. But are we ready to handle changes- big or small?

Let’s learn two Yogic practices (taught at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz) that will help us cope with change.

Practice 1 – Reflection

When you look into a mirror, what does it show you? Unless it’s a magic mirror, it will show you exactly the way you are. It will not judge you and say you are good looking or ugly or fat or thin. It is our mind that does that analysis. The mirror just does its job of showing you what you are.

In the same way, Reflection as a practice helps you see all events of the day just the way they are, without judging them. It helps us become objective.

How to do it?
  •         Sit in a meditative posture (avoid lying down).
  •         Visualize every single event of that day from waking up in the morning to sleeping at night.
  •         Avoid spending too much time on one event or analyzing why and how it happened.
  •         Just move from event to event.
  •         When you come to the end of this practice, open your eyes.
  •         This practice would approximately take 15 minutes.

Note: Avoid writing the events instead of visualizing them. Writing tends to become planned as we have to think of the right words. This way, we end up evaluating things. Instead, we have to train the mind to become objective. Just watch events pass like a TV show.

Practice 2 – Anitya Bhavana (Anitya- Impermanent. Bhavana- Attitude)

After the practice of reflection, let’s concentrate on the following statement:

“What was in the morning is not at mid-day. What was at mid-day is not at midnight; for all things are transitory. Why should I be attached to anything when nothing is permanent and everything is changeful?”

When doing reflection, you must have noticed this. Nothing is the same. Your moods, the environment, the world around you; is constantly changing. Still many times, we get uncomfortable with change. When passing school and going into college, we are scared of what lies ahead of us, when passing college and going out into the big bad world, we fear if we will survive and do well. When getting married, we are scared of all the responsibilities and changes it will bring into our lives.

We know things will change, still we somehow expect the next day to be the same as today. We expect the housekeeper, milkman, everyone to be the same as always. But if one of them doesn’t show up, we get upset.

With every birthday, we get upset thinking we’re a year older. We get scared of becoming old, of losing things or people we cherish. But some day it all goes, in the same way that we’ll die one day.

So why is it that we don’t like change inspite of it being inevitable?
Fear of the unknown, fear of losing out on our comfort zone?

But we all know that the only constant thing in this world is change. Then why fight it when we know that we can’t do anything about it? Why not accept change and adjust accordingly and move on?

By accepting, we will be able to tackle it better than wishing it had never happened. If we think we can change something, go ahead and change it. But if we can’t, accept what is not in our hands.

Anitya Bhavana helps us accept and tackle all kinds of changes in life with a balanced mind.

Now keeping this in mind, let’s practice reflection again with Anitya Bhavana at the back of our mind. Let’s see if it makes any difference.

By regular practice of reflection and Anitya Bhavana, there is an automatic understanding that comes, about the impermanence of things. It is not really something we can force ourselves to do or intellectualize. It is a feeling that is generated, a kind of understanding of the changefulness of the material world. This will help us remain in a balanced state of mind always.

So here’s wishing you a Happy, Changeful and Balanced New Year !!

Pinakin & Ankita Shah
Body-Mind Therapists & Trainers
Pristine Senses Academy
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