Have you ever noticed that you have a constant roomate--giving you a narative of your life everyday all day long? Well if you haven't --you just noticed it because it said to you--"voice, I don't have a voice--what the hell is she talking about?" Yep we all have it---I've recently been pondering how and when this voice became part of our everyday life--my results are that when we were young, really young we used our brain to learn, soak up, and understand our surroundings--we used our brain to assimilate when we cried our mother would come to soothe us. As we became older and moved into adolescents our brain began to narrate our life--if we walked outside, the little voice would say, it's cold--better put on a coat, or it's hot better take off the coat--and as we moved more through life, this little voice began to rationalize decisions for ourselves--"Cake, you can't have cake, you have a date on Friday and you want to fit in those jeans." And so the voice has made the rationalization that it has more power over our life than we do. I know, the question is, where does yoga come in---well today we explored this exact theme in JDC, the adolescent girls knew the voice, they knew the voice well. It's funny when you think about it because really we live with this constant chatter in our brain, narrative, and a form of torturous rationalization.
One of the girls today said that her voice is constantly reminding her of her faults, constantly giving herself negative feedback so that if something good happens she can immediately find the fault and not be set up for good in her life----Another girl agreed, and said, I knew what I had done was wrong, but I didn't care--no one cares about me, so therefore I don't care about myself--the voice in my head reminds me constantly how bad I am, how many bad decisions I've made, that I'm not worthy of making a good decision. And yet another beauty said, you mean like the movie Drop Dead Fred--like that----At this point, I realized that I was treading in some serious "psycho-analization" the waters that are waaaayyyy over my head--so I brought the theme around to yoga and the breath. Yoga and the breath takes your voice out of your head--concentration of breathing and moving allows the mind to start to settle--we did some simple pranayama--I wanted the girls to feel their mind settle--before they knew it they had sat for 5 minutes still and breathing--as they returned to natural breath and opened their eyes--one of the girls said, wow that is like smoking pot--ummmm not really what I was going for but yeah I guess it kind of is. She said I feel so mellow--we moved through the poses and ended with another pranayama and moved into savasana--where the girls for the first time, did not fidget--as we ended the class one girl said, it's gone the voice is gone--i'm really still. As we ended and it came time to take the practice off the mat, I encouraged them to listen to the voice, but to only allow positive talk--when the negative comes out, to return to their breath and see if this weekend they find a little difference---we'll see how it goes, I think I'll take my own teaching and see if I can also turn the negative into positive affirmations and gratitude and remember that returning to the breath allows for a brightness to shine forth.