Shavasana in the City... By chubbyskinnybrowngirl
March 16, 2015
Flexing My Self Control Muscle
There have been SO many times that I’ve wished (albeit
the fact), that I would have practiced more self-control BEFORE I got carried away and went too far. I hate the feelings of guilt that follow an emotional reaction to a friend, an impatient word to a parent, an empty bag of chips or carton of ice-cream, spats with my spouse…(and on and on I could go). But self-control is something that is so hard to regain once we lose it, and truth be told, I’d been letting mine decline for years now.
In this weakened state, what has harmed me the most is haphazardly falling too far into people’s lives, feeding too much on their energy and stories causing me to lose balance and tip right into their stories; taking on their moods and feelings as if they were my own. Being such a people person, it sometimes hard for me to create those boundaries that fence in and protect my own livestock from the elements. Sometimes their winters freeze my seedlings. But drawing the line, putting on the brakes, proceeding with caution, yielding, rationalizing, measuring for moderation, exercising patience, backing off, walking away are all ways of practicing self-control….hmmmm funny, as I’ve recently come to learn; so too are breathing, balancing, holding and posing on my mat?!
The more I get into yoga, the more I find it penetrating and strengthening me in ways I hadn’t expected. Last week I realized I’ve been acting and behaving in much more self-controlled ways, more than I have in a long time, and I attribute this strength to yoga. I find that I’ve been acting more intentionally, eating more intentionally…just
more intentionally! Regaining my self-control is something I’ve been meaning to do for such a long time, but I just couldn’t seem to accomplish it on my own. On the contrary I’d find myself more times than not, losing control; gorging, dumping or reacting. But wow, not so much lately.
In class, Michellene with Lahari Yoga calls it finding your “sweet spot”. One’s sweet spot is that place between pleasure and pain. It’s that point where you feel poised and balanced – where you are not leaned too far forward or too far back. It takes time, patience and practice finding one’s sweet spot. What a huge accomplishment it was for me recently to balance on my arms and successively lift my feet into crow’s pose. In life, finding my sweet spot parallels these concepts, I find myself gaining self-control off the mat while I learn to balance and pose on it. These physical experiences in class, are providing the mental building blocks of developing and rebuilding my self- control outside of class. It’s the acts of intentional breathing, posing, balancing and intentional holding that are all seeming to flex this muscle making it stronger and stronger each day. And I am just so damn grateful for that, (similarly my waist line, my friends, my spouse, my parents and everyone else around me can reap the benefits of too)!
Practicing self-control is also directly related to mindfulness…but alas, I’ll table that for now. I’ll instead just gently yield to this present recognition and bask in its light for a while. The more I pace these thoughts, the more life giving they are for me…. <3