My 30 Day Yoga Challenge, Day 16
[ R.A.I.N. ]
This whole week I’ve looked forward to doing a Yin class. I love the teacher and I enjoy being able to turn off in my yoga practice. As I walked to the 730PM class tonight, the air, fresh from earlier rainfall, I became more and more excited for what was to come. Though excited I was, I was mindful to bring myself back to the present, feeling excited to be outside in the night air, so crisp, so clean. So now.
Rain, or rather water, is a powerfully cleansing element. It has the ability to remove toxicity while simultaneously being a healing agent.
Tonight our teacher shared with us a great technique as we embraced our Joyful Discomfort, which she has explained is the edge of a pose where it is deep enough to feel joyful, yet not where we are forced or pulled into hurting.
The technique for healing was called R.A.I.N.:
Accept (or, Allow)
Investigate and do
In a nutshell, it is a mantra to help you in times of overwhelm, and in yoga, in those places of Joyful Discomfort. If you’d like to explore more, here’s the article on the R.A.I.N mantra.
[ The Experience ]
Yin is a form of yoga that allows you to target areas differently than other forms of yoga. The main difference is that Yin targets, and opens up, the fascia, which is said to store our emotions.
Joyful Discomfort in Yin allows you to open up emotionally, in places such as in the hips (aka your sexual emotions) and the lower back where your kidneys rest. By the way, the kidneys are said to be where your anger is stored. And because breathing is so vital to everything you do, I should also mention that the lungs are said to store grief… as we breathed today, sometimes together, mostly individually, our teacher encouraged us to
Breathe in joy, Breathe out grief/shame
Breathe in the present, Breathe out what’s holding you in the past
Breathe in generosity to your SELF, Breathe out the harshness of SELF
This last breath was important, because as we began the class, the teacher opened the space with this story as we reclined in a meditative posture:
A bus driver was driving a bus and a young girl comes up
and offers him a handful of peanuts.
The driver says,
“what a sweet little girl. Thank you so much for your generosity.”
The girl goes back and a few minutes later,
she comes up with another handful of peanuts.
The driver says, “wow, you are so generous.
Thank you so much for sharing your peanuts with me.”
The young girl returns to her seat.
A few minutes go by and the young girl comes back up
and hands the bus driver another handful of peanuts.
The driver receives them and says,
“Oh, you know, you don’t have to keep doing this.
Thank you for your peanuts, but really,
you should enjoy them yourself. Don’t give them all away.”
And the young girl says,
“It’s OK, my friends and I just like to suck the chocolate off of them.”
(I believe this joke was adapted. Read the “original” here.)
[ The Takeaway ]
With that anecdote, I chuckled in my reclined, relaxed opening posture.
Yin-ing onward, we were encouraged to find ways to add lightness to our night’s experience, and through it, find ways to be more generous to ourselves in our daily life. She then reminded us that every 6 seconds the mind wanders, and that it’s nothing to worry about or think of as bad… just as something that is, and to gently return to our tool of equal breathing to help get centered in the present.
Then she beautifully layered on our new tool of RAIN sometime during our class. I’d guess that it was maybe around the half-way mark. Whatever time it was, I received the message of the mantra in the way I was supposed to for that moment, and to be able to share the information with you, herein.
As the 75-minute class came to an end, I found myself crisp and clear, cleansed by the ‘N’ of the mantra, Do Nothing. The N came in handy as my Joyful Discomfort finally started to open me up more than it has in previous Yin Classes, methinks, simply because I no longer felt obligated to identify with any thoughts that were not serving me.
Instead, I was generous to my self, allowing surrender to gravity and The Now.
[ Question For You ]
How can you be more generous to your self?
Please comment below!
Here’s to your health, happiness and WHOLENESS!
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