Self Help for the Hypercritical

Pretty good home practice this morning. Tried out the Manduka mat. Wow, what a nice mat. Of course, I didn’t sweat up a storm, so I’m not sure how it’d perform, say, in a crowded led class. And it felt a little sketchy on balancing poses, though I’m not sure if that was just me psyching myself out because it is such a thick mat.

It’ll definitely be a good mat for the new house. The “yoga room” has tiled floors, so the cushioning qualities of the mat will be perfect. Whether I’ll ever lug it over to Volleyball Guy’s remains to be seen. I just leave a mat and rug in the back seat of my Jeep all the time, so it is ready each morning. But if I had the Manduka in the car, I think I’d be nervous about someone stealing it. Though, really, who steals yoga mats from cars?!?!

Today I slowed down to a crawl at the bakasana transition after utkatasana. Usually I only manage to kick back about three quarters of the way to chaturanga. Today, though, I nailed it. I was a lot lower to the floor than I expected when I finally found myself in chaturanga, which suggests I’ll probably face plant at some point as I work this transition all the way out. So this might be a little something to save for home practice, since face plants are so highly distracting in the shala 😉

This morning I had a bit of insight about why home practice can be tough, compared to going to Mysore or even a led class. When I was in parivritta parsvakonasana, I was pretty rough on myself, psychically. I’ve experienced this at zen retreats–after sitting for a couple of day, I could hear how shockingly critical my inner monolog is, and how deep. I really am not conscious of it. But it’s in there, affecting how I feel. Obviously, a few practices where the inner voice is hypercritical would cause almost anyone to shy away from practicing on their own. The only way that I’ve managed to counteract it is to be consciously positive during home practice. Essentially let the positive conscious thoughts be louder than the subconscious negative ones. I suspect one might be able to retrain their mind this way. Isn’t that how cognitive therapy works?

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3 Responses

  1. I don’t leave my mat in the car since my car was stolen!
    I have to at least have the mat!

    Cognitive therapy does work that way. I need to do that during home practice too. Maybe throughout the day before the home practice too…

  2. LOL! Isn’t it funny how we worry more about our mats than our cars? I never lock my car doors, except on occasion when I have something in there that I really value. My daughter laughed at me when I locked the doors because I’d just bought a loaf of whole wheat toasted pecan bread and was afraid someone might take it!

  3. That sounds like very precious bread though….

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