Yoga practice of the day – strength and serenity when feeling under attack

(I’m going to continue to put these up as they occur to me but no more ‘normal’ blogging till Sept)

First of all I ought to say, I’m not very good at this, so this practice is for me as much as anyone.  We can feel under attack in many situations – at home, at work, with friends or even in public places.  Often these ‘attacks’ come out of the blue – and it is when we are least prepared for them that they can hurt the most.  We can end up feeling defensive and trying to justify our own course of action.  Here’s how I try to deal with these situations:

  • Accept and acknowledge the hurt.  Cry, scream or talk it out with a (neutral) friend if you need to, concentrating on your feelings rather than the perceived rights and wrongs of the case.
  • Acknowledge that you may have been wronged.  Accept that there may be positive ways of dealing with this but that for now, you need to deal with your own feelings before proceeding.  Any communication made in a spirit of feeling wronged and hurt, is unlikely to be productive
  • Accept (this is the hardest for me) that even communication undertaken in the most positive spirit may elicit a negative or aggressive reaction.  This is hard to deal with and you can end up feeling aggrieved and hard-done-by.

Yoga practices to help

  1. Detachment.  This is not a cold disengagement but a ‘stepping-back’.  Visualise yourself taking a step back from the situation, see yourself as separate from it.
  2. Having owned your feelings,(this is important) take a step back from them as well.  See yourself as separate from them.  Say to yourself something like ‘I am not these feelings’.
  3. Practise some yoga breathing.  Hands on abdomen, breathe in and out through the nose and observe the movement under the hands
  4. As you breathe, repeat to yourself the phrase ‘I am’ – or if you prefer, ‘so ham’ (Sanskrit version)
  5. Visualise the situation dissolving or resolving, whichever seems appropriate.  NB avoid visualising or thinking about revenge.  The other person’s karma means that their actions will come back to them and you need not trouble yourself about them.  (This also means that any negative thoughts or actions will come back to you!)
  6. Finally, repeat the word ‘peace’ or the mantra ‘Om shantih’

Om shantih.

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