“The real trick in life is to turn hindsight into foresight that reveals insight.”
-Robin S. Sharma
I know I’ve been sort of MIA this summer. I spent all of July intending to write about tapasya only to “fail.” When I got back on board this month, I finally touched upon tapasya and I posted more regularly, but without the usual yoga video. I knew something had to change, within me and for the whole structure of Yoga Mama. There is so much online for moms, and parents in general, to help with self-care and finding time to fit in exercise and downtime. Why would I offer another avenue for this?
Off and on, I’ve had an inner soundtrack of self-criticism for not meeting my own expectations. It’s not that I want to show you the perfect picture of a yoga mama who is always smiling, practices yoga on schedule, and meets every obstacle with a calm demeanor. Not at all! I get frustrated, stressed, scattered, and overly busy all the time and guess what? It’s all my own doing. That’s the good news.
We all have buttons that get pushed; the point of yoga practice is not necessarily to get rid of those buttons, but just to recognize that they’re only buttons. And to recognize when they get pushed and to slow down enough to remember that we can decide what happens when they get pushed.
Personally, my challenge is that my buttons get pushed and my mind tells me it’s not a big deal. Then the button gets pushed again and again and then I explode or break down. Or maybe I overreact about something and then, after the fact, realize that my response was dramatic compared to the situation; or I know in my mind that something truly isn’t a big deal, but the tension in my body shows that I feel it as a big deal. Then there are times that I anticipate conflict even when the only reason for me to expect it is because of past experiences I’ve had. For instance, sometimes I dread talking to a certain person because I anticipate criticism, but then when the conversation comes, it is nothing like what I expected.
Do you see how much chatter echoes around in the mind? Maybe you have some similar (over)reactions to life situations...
I know there are many teachers and gurus out there championing the value of living in the present moment, and I agree that there’s nothing more simple, powerful, and yet so difficult. But I do think that an occasional venture into hindsight can also be valuable, if kept in perspective. The yogic approach to this would be to reflect on the past without identifying with it. For instance, maybe yesterday I was frustrated; but I am not inherently a frustrated person. Maybe last week a friend was negative and critical; but they might also have the capacity to be encouraging, supportive, and positive.
Yoga Mama is changing (both myself as yoga mama and this newsletter I call Yoga Mama). Mamas are always changing because our kids and lives are always changing. The world is changing. We reflect the changing seasons. Summer is coming to a close. Let us not forget what brought us to this point. Let’s reflect on it, hold it and look at it from different angles, let it go, then go forward. Here are a few postures I played with that are symbolic of using hindsight to get a different perspective: a process of retrospection, reflection, and release. Let these poses be a reminder to drop the neck and head, look back behind you and relax the shoulders. We don’t always have to charge full steam ahead like super moms.
And by the way, I would love for any and all of you to give me any feedback or requests on what you’d like to see for future posts. Is there an issue you’d like me to write about? A posture or particular aspect of yoga practice? Are my posts too long or on the contrary, do you want more detail (I personally think that I should lean more towards short and sweet)? Don’t be shy!