I was at the beach recently and Hurricane Lee was far off the east coast and this was evident in the powerful waves rolling into shore all afternoon.
The waves came in sets, each successive wave in a set a little bigger than the last until the largest wave broke and there was a relative lull before the next set approached.
Emotions Come In Waves Too
As I stared at the waves I couldn’t help but think of how emotions come in waves too. Sometimes it’s a single wave that washes over us; we feel a feeling and just as quickly as it approaches it also passes.
Other times, though, strong emotions seem to come in sets. Each surge of emotion followed by another and another until we feel like we might drown.
Of course the set always passes eventually, but this is easy to forget when you’re being tossed around by the surf.
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Coping with Life's Ups and Downs
So, how can we become better at remembering that the waves will eventually disperse?
In yoga (and by extension meditation) we practice surfing waves.
Waves of breath. Waves of thought. Waves of sensation. Waves of emotion.
Over time, the breath and thoughts and sensations and emotions don’t change very much, but our capacity to ride the waves grows each time we step on our mat
Yoga Helps with Real Life
Each time we observe our breath or an emotion and allow it to flow unobstructed we become more skilled. Each time we witness a thought and let it go we become more skilled. Each time we notice tension in the body and release it we become more skilled.
Yoga is Practical
Yoga helps with real life by giving us a plethora of skills that we can call upon in times of need.
Yoga helps us navigate life’s waves more adeptly and to remember in moments of overwhelm that the waves will pass.