As I have been dealing with intense joint pain, particularity when waking up, I have been taking to heart a quote that I heard awhile back that “the brain is like velcro for negative experiences and teflon for positive ones”. The acceptance of this statement has been leading my practices. In yoga, the “velcro” might be considered the negative samskaras that circle often undetected in our brain. Samskaras are described as the conditioning or impressions in our mind and have a lot to do with our disposition from day to day. So if I wake up and unwittingly say “my knees are killing me and will all day” that thought pattern alone will guided my choices.
On the flip side, I utilize the yoga sutra pratipaksha bhavana; the philosophy and belief in our ability to change our reality by cultivating the opposite thought. In fact, for 6 years I wore a scrap piece of sari with pratipaksha bhavana written in sanskrit on my wrist. I look back on those years now and understand that they were the 6 years of my samskara searching; often with ugly cognitive and emotional outcomes. You have to first know what those mind flaws are before you can fertilize opposing thoughts. It is also beneficial to cherish and celebrate your positive mental habits. I also believe you have to search out the flaws in your physical body. Even if I don’t want to fully accept them, mostly because I believe in positive change, I can cultivate the opposite inside myself by being present in the physical places that are not screaming with sensation.
In practice, this has lead to me continuously look for the quiet spaces in my body. I can be in a soothing posture like savasana, doing a simple somatic flow, hanging my head in downward dog while breathing upside down, or in posture like my previously beloved child’s pose where the knee compression gets a bit spicy – through it all, I find the place that is quiet in my body.
If I can find some bit of peace alone in practice in my own body, it easier to find on life’s journey. Cultivating the opposite is not a form of denial, but self control and a way to mindfully manifest what we want.
I invite you to find the quiet space in your body.