Friday, May 23, 2014

Panchamaya Kosha Session Three

This session dealt with the MENTAL-EMOTIONAL BODY. Through various Yoga moves and breathing exercises, ending up with a Yoga Nidra rest, we looked at this part of ourselves.  This is a level deeper in our BODY/SELF than the outermost PHYSICAL BODY and then the next in ENERGY BODY.

Corinne talked about emotions, using joy and sorrow as examples, on a continuum. I have used this model of thinking about emotions for a while now so it was welcome to hear her interpretation.

As we experience and live our life, we are in constant motion back and forth on the continuum between JOY and SORROW, that is part of being human.

If we are too far to the side of JOY the emotion becomes ANXIETY. If we are too far to the side of SORROW the emotion becomes DEPRESSION.

If we accept that we are in CONSTANT motion we can try to keep a balance of our emotions.

If we feel the need to CONTROL the emotions or bring them to CENTER, we add more STRESS to the emotions. 

We can and should allow ourself to embrace and experience the emotions and to look at what they might be trying to tell us.

We can and should also allow ourself to postpone the feelings and place the emotions on hold until we are ready to take a closer look.

During this third session, we practiced feeling joy and then feeling its opposite, sadness. When Corinne suggested we feel both at the same time, I struggled and felt it could not be done. 

But then I pictured the two emotions dancing together in circles and realized that while difficult, it could be done.

Next Corinne guided us to see where on the continuum, as we switched back and forth between JOY and SORROW, we were feeling each emotion. Interesting was that I was feeling their location slide up and down, NOT left and right on a continuum. 

I felt JOY in my heart, chest, and lungs. I felt SORROW in my gut, my stomach, my bowels. As we switched back and forth I felt my focus raise and lower.

Finally, another ancient secret way of counting. This one takes you up to 12 or 24 with both hands. (By counting in a spiral you are also embracing the circle of life.) 

The handout says: "... a helpful way of keeping your attention focused on your practice ― insuring that your mind stays with the present moment rather than drifting into thoughts of the past of future."

P.S. Last week, when we began our Yoga Nidra rest, Corinne suggested we think about making an INTENTION for the practice. 

At first I was going to have it be for Gregory, who just before the session had a traumatic experience trying to take a hot water shower for the first time at Lieberman. Up until now he had been given "navy or sponge baths." 

I wanted them to try a full shower and was there to help. He panicked, became hostile, and we immediately discontinued our effort to get him into the shower. 

He calmed easily, received a sponge bath, was put into clean clothes and by fifteen minutes later was OK again.

But interestingly enough, instead of setting the INTENTION for him, I decided that Gregory was OK, being well taken care of.  

With my own recent growth and life changes regarding my body and health,  I made the reclaiming of my body and health the intention for that practice. 

Parallel to the decision I realized what an amazing spurt of emotional, mental, and physical growth I have shown over the last month of so. I was nurturing myself and that felt good.

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