The Bhagavad Gita describes yoga as the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself. Accepting ourselves with all our imperfections, along with last week’s focus of patience, goes hand in hand with tolerating the consequences of being ourselves.
Acceptance is a quality we encourage in our yoga asana work. We become aware of our physical limitations, and practice accepting them; aware of the mind and the ego, when we catch ourselves comparing or pushing ourselves too far. Remembering the approach of less strain for more gain, from my gorgeous yoga teacher Helen Kershaw.
Practicing acceptance on the yoga mat helps us take this quality into other aspects of our lives - our emotions, feelings and life circumstances. And when we accept ourselves, we naturally begin to accept others.
Reflecting this week; is there an aspect of myself or my life I need to accept, and to be kind and compassionate, to myself. Can I Iove and accept myself for who I am today?
You may find the R.A.I.N. technique developed by Michelle McDonald, a useful tool to cultivate acceptance through self-awareness. Whether it’s a situation, experience, thoughts, behaviours, triggers, or feelings and emotions, give it a go.
Recognise: what is happening or going on for you. Do this as an observer so as not to get caught up in any associated story but rather naming what is present, as best you can.
Accept or Allow: by acknowledge what is going on for you without needing to change it. Adopting self-compassion rather than self-criticism; being kind to yourself rather than beating yourself up for what’s going on in your head.
Investigate or Inquire: practice being curious about what you’re experiencing. Applying a quality of kindness towards yourself, towards the thoughts, feelings, physical sensations that are present.
Note or Not-identify: Note what is happening as you go through this process, from moment to moment. Reminding yourself this too will pass. Not identifying with the experience but rather noting how your experience arises and passes; it isn’t permanent.
Practicing this way of working with the mind helps us to build up a psychological inner resource to call on when we find ourselves in challenging times.
Accepting ourselves and all the different parts of us is much more helpful than pushing away or denying parts we don’t like. When we do this, with compassion and kindness we move towards living with inner harmony.
Along with weekly yoga classes for which this is our weekly focus we also offer:
· Meditation courses and a weekly meditation session
· Corporate wellbeing workshops based on mindfulness and healthy habit creation
· Individual and group coaching for lifestyle, wellbeing, mindfulness and meditation.
If you want to know more, email Nicky on firstname.lastname@example.org.