Self Compassion

YOGAUCEnewsletter.svgYOGA NEWS – UCE

Summer is almost over, UCE returns to 2 services on September 11. Sunday Yoga returns to 8 am.  Wednesday yoga remains the same, 9:30 am.  

The September 11 Sunday yoga will have gong bath, Jessica and Doug to co-teach.  Approximately 30 minutes of yoga and a relaxing 15 minutes of gong bath.  We start the gong bath by relaxing in savasana and then the vibration of the gong for most people relaxes the parasympathetic (involuntary) nervous system.  Like many things in yoga, you have to come and try it.

Join us on Sunday, September 25, 2016 for the Annual Bike the Ridge ride! Jessica is leading the UCE efforts to involve UCE in this community event.  Ride your bike to UCE that day and there will be plenty of activities to join in, and to help out.

Tuesday evenings in the spring at UCE, Jessica will be leading a series studying the Yoga Sutras, the historical writings of yogis.  Stay tuned for details.

Theme for this newsletter, being kind to ourselves, self-compassion.  Most of the ideas and words here are paraphrased from the book,  Self – Compassion, Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff.   Thanks to Jen Meyer and many others in our yoga community who have given guidance.  

Focusing on yoga and self-compassion. I think of yoga as a place to focus on self-compassion: Tune in to the body, breath, mind, and deepen the practice.  It truly starts with being kind and compassionate to ourselves. Kristen Neff asks us to remember how we show empathy to a friend in need and to find that same empathy for ourselves.  She encourages us to speak with kindness to ourselves.  Self talk would say the same things as when we are talking to a friend.  For example, “You are so worried about this right now.  I’m so sorry.”  As we speak kind words to ourselves, we begin to feel the challenges lessen.

Another piece of self-compassion that Neff talks about in her book is common humanity.  She writes that we are all connected, spiritual leader, Thich Nhat Hanh calls it “interbeing”.  Realizing that we are all connected and we all experience suffering in some form is a part of the work of self-compassion.  As TED talk speaker and psychologist, Brene Brown puts it, “Nobody rides for free.”

The third piece of self-compassion is mindfulness, being in the present moment.  To be aware and possibly articulate to ourselves, ‘ouch, that hurts’, or ‘this feels bad right now.’  Calling awareness to our feelings can help us to move through them.

And note that trying to make pain go away with self-compassion is just another way to repress pain and hurt. Self-compassion is about being with your suffering in a kind, loving way, not about making suffering disappear.

When angry with partner take a break for some self-compassion.  Put the ¨story¨ of the fight on hold.  Use empathic self talk to work through the intense feelings that have arisen.  When the break is over try to express positive emotion – laugh, smile, kind word, affirmation of listening.

As we do yoga we build on this practice of self-compassion by accepting who we are, being in the moment of where we are, and making the best with what we have.  This allows for us to be more accepting, less judgemental, more caring, connected, affectionate.

Thanks to all for our community of compassion.  


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