Changing with the Seasons: Connect to your Sadness with Yoga
And then the rains came. Somehow we jumped from sweltering Summer days to Fall colours on trees and grey skies. The change in weather brings new smells, temperatures and overall mood. And while many are already grieving the Sun’s demise, darker times offer a great opportunity within a yoga practice to address your innate human sadness.
Zen Buddhists honour the pure and tender heart within each of us which, they believe, is the part of the mass consciousness that became separate upon having this human experience. Simply, however, this tender heart is the part of us which is able to empathize with other beings. And it’s this part of us that we’re always trying to protect because feeling it makes us vulnerable. But the rainy whether offers the perfect background for experimenting with feeling this vulnerable part – the part that connects us to all other sentient beings.
Start by setting the mood: avoid brightly lit spaces, instead opting for soft accent lighting. Next, choose music that really plucks away at those heart strings; the sitar is always dependable for this. Then sit for a few minutes with legs crossed and eyes closed and dedicate your practice to a person (or animal) to whom your heart goes out.
We’re so accustomed to fighting off the gloom – repeating an upbeat affirmation every time an uncomfortable emotion pops up. But it’s those uncomfortable emotions in which we gain understanding and compassion for others and ourselves.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just think of someone and commit to giving your yoga practice to lessen their burden. Embrace the melancholy throughout your yoga session, and then end by nurturing your tender heart: wrap yourself in a warm, soft blanket for a 15-minute shavasana (corpse pose).
Yes, you might feel a little bummed out for the rest of the day. Your energy might be down. This is because you haven’t stuffed your pain underneath pithy sayings and visualized rainbows. Instead you stepped outside of your dog-eared bubble and felt with the intention of helping another.