This mindful moment shares a meditation on being with a wide range of energies and experiences. This practice reflects on "the gunas" from the yoga sutras and how they relate to emotional and energetic states based on Episode 41: How Counseling Relates to the Yoga Sutras with Izzy Shurte.
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Hi, everyone, and welcome back to how the wise one grows. This week we are going to have a mindful moment where we practice being with a wide range of energies, emotions and experiences that allow us to be a whole person. This episode in Mindful Moment is based off of episode 41, where I got to have a conversation with my yoga teacher and a licensed professional counselor counselor Izzie shirt, and we talk all about the yoga sutras and primary source texts and how they relate to different modalities and frameworks that we can look at mental health with.
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Something we talked about in this episode was a concept called The Goonies that's talked about in the yoga sutras and how this can help us relate to how we think about the emotions and mental states we experience. This concept helps me a lot when maybe I'm feeling a little more anxious or depressed. It gives a new framework and lens to kind of look at these experiences.
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So find a space that feels safe and supportive for you and we'll get started as we jump into this practice.
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So as always, I invite you to find stillness if there's a space available for you to do that. If not, and you can practice seated or lying down whatever feels comfortable for your body. If you're on the move, that's okay too. I invite you. If you're moving, it can be really helpful to just focus on a point of contact that you have to the earth, whether that's your feet or the seat, whatever that point might be.
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Let that be What grounds you as you're moving. Let's just begin to settle in. So getting into your comfortable position or noticing those points of contact to the Earth and notice where your body is rooting down into the earth beneath you. Let the body become heavy here as the Earth lifts you up. Notice as your head reaches towards the sky, your spine lengthens and your shoulders soft and on the back.
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And right now you're holding opposing forces, right? You're rooting into the earth and reaching towards the sky. You do it at the same time. Those opposites coexist, and your awareness, your presence, helps you hold both. It doesn't have to be an either or.
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Inhale and exhale. Let's take a few more deep breaths. Inhale. Fill your chest. Fill your belly with air. And exhale. Open your mouth. Let it out again. Inhale. Fill the chest. Fill the belly with air. And exhale. Open the mouth. Let it out again. Inhale and exhale.
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You can continue to breathe in this way. And I'm also going to share breathing technique. That is, he invites a lot during her practices. And if you choose to try out this other breath, I want you to imagine that there's like a straw that's moving down the center of your body. And as you inhale, think about bringing the breath in and down the front side of the body.
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So moving down the throat, the chest, the belly to the base of the pelvis. And then as you exhale, think about that breath moving up and out the back side of the body. So moving up the back, the spine, the neck and out through the nose. Inhale. Moving in and down the front side of the body. Exhale. Moving up and out the back side of the body.
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Inhale in and down. Exhale up and out. And maybe you continue to breathe in this way. Maybe you surrender to the natural breath. You decide what you need right now.
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So in episode 41, we touched on a concept from the yoga sutras called The Goonies. And The Goonies are essentially the way I interpret them described as these energetic states. And I like to think of them as kind of like the weather that there's a there's a range of types that we experience, and they're just they just pass through.
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You know, they're not right or wrong. They're not good or bad. They're just a range of different weathers we experience as a part of being human.
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So there's something called Thomas, which can be when you're maybe feeling like you want to move slow, it's really restful, sort of like a heaviness. If we get too caught up in this, it can also look like a depressive and depression. There's something called Raga, which is more energetic, more active. I like to think of it as like buzzy.
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Go, go, go energy. And it can also look like anxiety. And then there's something called sativa, which is more of a balanced state. And the way that it was described to me is kind of this underlying energy. I like to think of it as like the sky that these other things flow through.
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So sometimes we might feel more energized, more realistic, sometimes we might feel slower, more Tomasic, sometimes we might feel nice and balanced and. Vic And that's all good. We're humans. We're allowed to experience that wide range. We will experience that wide range. It's natural. So I want you to take a moment right now and just scan your body from head to toe and just notice the energetic sensations present.
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And notice if you feel a little heavier, like you need to be slower, more Tomasic. If you feel a little buzzy, you're more energetic. Oak Ridge, Aztec. Or if you feel that static, that balance state. So no right or wrong, just kind of notice what sensations are present in the body and in the mind right now. And then, rather than getting too caught up in these sensations and knowing that like you're not your thoughts right now, you're not your energetic experience right now, can you kind of unhook from the attachment to this state and instead just get kind of curious and allow yourself to observe it?
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So I like to kind of ask myself, if I were the weather, what kind of weather would I be today? Would it be partly sunny? Would there be scattered storms? Would it be cloudy? Would a tornado or a nice sunny breeze just kind of think about your energy as the weather right now and now start to get curious about the qualities of it?
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So again, we're not attached to this thing, but we are allowed to experience it. So can you just start to investigate it with a gentle curiosity? What does it feel like? Where in the body is it present?
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Does it have a weight? Is it heavy or light?
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Does it have a temperature? Is it hot, cold, lukewarm?
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Does it have a texture? A shape?
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Just get really curious about the sensations that are present right now. Not resisting what is here, not resisting what you feel. Instead, simply note it. Note the experience of it. In this moment and notice if it changes. As you sit with this quality and this energy, just like the weather outside changes throughout the day, does this energy change and transform within you to especially when you allow yourself to feel it?
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Does maybe some tension alleviate? How might it evolve? And can you find steadiness whether it's within your point of contact to the earth or the breath flowing through the body as you just allow yourself to experience this energy and this wide range of experiences that might be arising? And any time that your mind might get caught up in a thought or a sensation, can you diffuse, can you unhook from that and then bring your awareness back to the qualities of this moment?
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Inhale and exhale and take a moment to again notice what qualities, what energies are present for you here as you scan the body from the tip of the head to the toes.
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Just notice if it's any different from when we began. Know that these energies that we experience are impermanent. They're not who we are. They're simply a part of being a whole person.
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And can you find that space of steadiness as you allow yourself to observe and experience the wide range of being a whole person?
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I like to bring the hands to the heart, kind of giving the heart a little hug here, offering yourself a moment of gratitude and compassion for having the courage to arrive, for your body, for your mind. All the states that are present for you. Let's take one more breath together as we close breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
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And you can slowly open your eyes as you return to this space. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to how the wise one grows today. If this podcast has been impactful in your life, can you support it by following and subscribing to this podcast on your favorite streaming platform? This will make sure you never miss an episode.
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And you'll even get a special shout out in an upcoming episode. Until the next time, let's keep taking it one breath at a time.