IT’s been about six months since I started practising yoga and meditation regularly. For most people, it’s something that has weaved in and out of their lives over many years and many actually got into it quite early in life. But for me, it was just something I got into quite all-of-a-sudden and that too in my early 30s and so far have consistently stuck with it. I thought that this milestone calls for some stock-taking to see what changes my practice has brought in me. Here’s the top 3 immediately obvious ones.
More calm and control
As one of the millions of self-confessed over-analysers, I used to be quite fond of indiscriminately indulging, in the words of Mark Twain, in ‘bad habits of thinking’ . That was because I placed a grand importance on thought and my ability to think my way out of everything. Intellect is only good if it is a sharp knife after all. But when you start to cut yourself with it, it is not so wonderful.
Having come to see the limitations and non-substantive nature of thought through my study of meditation and ‘gnana yoga’, more calm and control has crept into life.
My breath flows much more smoothly and fully since I started yoga-asana practice. I also know how to resort to and use my breath to alleviate any anxiety, stress or fear (e.g. by deepening it or lengthening exhalations). I’ve realised that just breathing can be such a joy.
More appreciation and noticing
Taking time in the day for some quiet has helped me appreciate life and nature more, something that usually flew out the window when I was running about my day. I also sometimes find myself noticing details on things and being more attentive or at least reminding myself to be more attentive as I go about my day which definitely changes the quality of daily life. I can better appreciate the present and don’t compulsively indulge as much, in projections about the future.
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