My pants feel tight and uncomfortable. Are my pants tight? Or is my mind tight?
It happens all the time. We look for something to wear because, well, we need to dress ourselves. And then, poof! A fine mood turns into a bad/sad/angry/disappointed/frustrated/annoyed/wistful/collapsed mental state. It’s a cycle that so many of us struggle with. Our mood being determined by a pair of pants seems like a lot of control to give to an inanimate object, don’t you think?
So how do we combat this unrelenting roller coaster ride of feeling bad about ourselves based on something as simple as what pair of pants or top we wear?
Practice. We practice. I practice. When we get on the mat and breathe and move, even if only for a short time, we are more likely to hold onto our power – our center. We shift our physical and mental state with movement so that even if our body is exactly the same, and our pants are exactly the same size, our “feeling” of “fatness” or “wrongness” is lessened when clothes enter the picture. Because so much of how we feel about our body is a head game. One we can win.
I’m not saying that we can imagine ourselves dropping weight and it will happen, but we definitely feel better when we do a little breath and movement. Consider yoga practice part of the formula for more peace and well-being from this perspective. Mental weight loss is a much better place to live then the helpless “clothes crisis” of a mental state. Not to mention that it’s also a much easier place to begin making small changes if that’s what you want to happen.
I certainly couldn’t have lost weight or attempt to lose weight in pants that make me feel bad about myself. Isn’t that what spandex is for? Start with your breath, and the rest will follow. Including your pants.
May we all feel cozy and comfy on and in our bodies.
As we bring ourselves into the present over and over again through practice we begin to shift. Our mind becomes more used to present centered thinking. Everytime we feel our feet on the ground or consciously take a breath – our thoughts don’t change, but instead become more obvious.
For example, we might have the habit of eating a lot at parties and other social situations. Maybe we normally have 1 or 2 pieces of corn but at a barbeque we find ourselves eating 5 or 6. After practicing being present for a time, we find ourselves in these situations having the thought, “ I need more corn” and then we eat it.
After more time practicing we may have the same thought, notice it and think, “I don’t actually need that corn.” This last thought was likely there all along but we were not present enough to see it. We used to proceed and eat the corn. After more practice and experience with present centered thinking, (like “I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out” or “My feet are on the floor and I’m wiggling my toes”) we hear the mind’s voices more clearly and choose to not eat the corn because we’re not hungry.
This is the way in which we change – becoming more present – hearing all of our thoughts – and then finally making simple choices. Our thoughts never disappear, these eating patterns may have started when we were 2 years old. But our relationship changes to them. Eventually we are in the present just enough to make aware choices more of the time. Don’t expect to silence out “demons” but instead, to hear them completely along with all of your other thoughts.
In this way, we can make informed decisions more of the time. As we do this, we move towards one of the great gifts of yoga – using our minds full potential.
Om Shanti, Om Peace.
I have been so inspired lately by those that I have the privilege of working with. Over the last few months I have watched people move from intense suffering into a place of peace. I have seen people reduce their blood sugars, people move out of chronic pain, and others find a way to no longer binge and purge. I have also witnessed people physically transform as no-longer-needed pounds disappear.
What do these people have in common? They are all open to possibility. They continue to be willing to keep themselves open enough to the possibility of change. Without a fixed idea of what should happen, they each said to themselves “something will happen”. From this space of openness they do their work of finding the breath, becoming more present, and making choices out of a present-centered space.
When we witness others making great change it can be frustrating especially when we don’t feel ourselves making progress. Mainly because we want to achieve what they have. But if we look underneath the achievement to the space that they were in when change began, we see their openness to possibility.
So let us find inspiration from these stories and allow ourselves to stay open, allowing change to come to us.
May we all live in the possibility of today.
We can’t know where we are going if we don’t know where we are. And knowing where we are can be very challenging. On a daily basis most of us assess, then re-assess, and re-assess our re-assessment of what we think we need to do to achieve our weight loss goals. This can be energy draining and non-productive. From a yogic perspective, this is because our unconscious mind is running the show and directing our thoughts in a way that isn’t very helpful. Our job is to ground ourselves in the present and make decisions using all of that which is available to us—our intelligence, our wisdom, and our bodies. It is from this expanded place that we easefully find our way.
So instead of stepping on the scale every day we find our practice. We connect our body and mind with our breath. Once we do this we have a reality check. Anchored in the present we ask ourselves “What do I need to do today to be centered, peaceful, and nourished?” When we do this our answers become clear. I need to practice. I need to eat regularly. I need to take a walk after work. I need to call my family. I need to not overeat this meal in front of me. I need to go food shopping. Simple answers come and we follow them.
In this way, we become more and more grounded and less overwhelmed by our suffering. And this allows us to take actions that benefit us.
May we all find clarity and peace today.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need anything~