google-site-verification=SS4sHfRpnC5310z8p0MlzALnzV2GO3QybxUy9XMcO00 Managing Negative Emotions | Collection 1

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Managing Roadblocks to Wellbeing | Collection 1

February 4, 2019

Have you ever gone "where was that post" on Facebook? Scrolling for goodness knows how long looking for that one post that gave you some insight, comfort or epiphany?


I've decided to start compiling our Managing Negative Emotions posts for your quick reference. This is the heart, mind and spirit yoga companion to your physical practice.


There are three recurring themes for this first edition of our collection - one is the joy simple things bring to us and how these simple joys remind us of who we are.  The second is how to manage fiery emotions so we don't get ourselves and our loved-ones burned, and the third is self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love.


I hope these do their job of helping you in times when you need to manage negative emotions.

On Balancing the Heat | This was written for the December 21, 2018 Summer Solstice.

The Summer Solstice can be seen as Yang, Rajastic and very Pitta. All that strong, hot energy. It's a very outward-moving energy, so make sure you reserve some for yourself.  It's the longest day of the year, so enjoy the sun but don't burn yourself. Hydrate and cool off in the shade.


Whenever the emotions are in that "summer solstice"state - hot,fiery and for a long period - take deep breaths and remember that regret is always 20/20; so don't let your emotions take over.  That's not to say that you should be guarded and walk on eggshells! Realise where your emotions are - sometimes this is enough to control them.  If they escape from you, don't dwell on loosing control.




On what Christmas IS | Written for  Christmas 2018

The irony of this season is that it's supposed to be the most joyous time of year, but it can also give us the most stress; the most worry.  We can feel pulled in so many different directions, so many things demanding our attention, demanding our time and effort.


When this happens, anchor your senses to one simple, joyous thing. It doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be extravagant. It doesn't have to be from childhood. Just a simple happy thought - a smile, a kiss, the sound of laughter, the feel of a warm hug.  Let this simple joyous thing anchor your senses.  This is where you are safe. This is where your authentic self lives - you live in joy.  So no matter how many ways you are pulled apart, you are protected and anchored in joy.




On Feeling Stuck

Have you ever felt stuck? We all do, every now and then; just like the line in the Friends song - "it's like your always stuck in second hasn't been your day, your week, your month or even your year..." and sometimes, when this feeling of being stuck weighs heavy on us, it seems like no matter what we do, we're not going anywhere.


When this awful feeling comes around, take heart. Don't punish nor judge yourself. Keep growing. Do something that brings you joy, even simple, small joys can have a huge impact on your state of mind. Or make a list of simple tasks and chip away at it. Slowly ticking of a to-do list, even mundane household chores, can give you a sense of accomplishment. If you did something that wasn't on the list, add it! It'll give you a tremendous sense of getting something done, of moving forward and of growing. Before you know it, you'll have your second wind and be able to refocus your energies on the big things and get them unstuck.




On Being Healthy

This is an oldie but goodie; a favoutire of mine and some of you, so here it is...updated. It reminds us that the definition of health and wellness should not only revolve around one thing - be it physically, mentally or emotionally. Being truly healthy takes all our "selves" into account and nourishes all aspects of our being.  Eat an apple, it's good for you!




On Tempering the Fires of Pitta

For those times when our drive is running high - motivated to the point of exhaustion, passionate to the point of burnout; ambitious, obsessed,focused. This high Pitta Dosha can often spill-over irritation, anger, aggression and impatience.

When this happens, try this meditation - come in a comfortable seated position and create a cup with your hands. Imagine writing down all these fiery emotions - without judging yourself - and place them in your cup. Now imagine a small flame in the cup. Let it burn all those emotions; not to destroy, but to transform and temper.


Manage your fire into a controlled burn. Carry this with you off the mat (or meditation seat) as a reminder how to manage your emotions. Let this help you see things objectively and react evenly so you're not swept up in the fires of Pitta.





On Growing but being Enough

In the past few years, there's been a movement for us to love and accept who we are - the body positive movement, the focus on self love and self awareness , the integration of mindfulness and meditation in mainstream health and wellness.


At the root of all this is a simple, profound message that we need to tell ourselves - I am enough.


BUT - don't use this as an excuse to stagnate and stop growing! It would be a disservice to ourselves if we give in to complacency, specially if we use the powerful idea of being enough.  So, while we live, we grow...and we work to grow into someone who will proudly say I AM ENOUGH.


On Meditation

The concept of meditation can appear huge and overwhelming for some. The first questions are usually “How do I start?”, “Where do I learn?”, “How many types are there?”. Then there’s the sitting - for how long? What time of day? Is a bit of music acceptable? Again, it can get overwhelming and turns people off. Which is a real shame because meditation is really beneficial to our overall well-being – from the physical to the spiritual.


Here’s what I offer you – don’t stress over it! You can always start by relaxing and chilling! Relax by clearing the mind and Chill by doing and/or thinking about one thing at a time – focused and undivided, even with distractions around you.


If there’s something you’re worrying about, observe it from a distance {in your mind}. Don’t interact, just observe.

Hopefully, this will give you head-space to figure out a solution while saving you from stress and emotional pain.

All this is the practice of MINDFULNESS and gives you a solid foundation for your meditation.



On Competitiveness

Strong vinyasa flow often trigger competitiveness - towards ourselves and others. The ego can be so strong in the background of our mind that it drowns our inner peace.  Competitiveness can give birth  to jealousy, anger, envy and self doubt causing our emotions to be thrown off balance and pushes us beyond what is safe for the body.


When this happens, take a breather and REST. Push aside the ego and honour yourself by allowing this reset of your thoughts, emotions and body to happen from a state of rest. 



On Perfection

We strive for perfection; whether we're perfectionists or it is expected of us. But the demand of perfection can be a burden because we never know when to stop. What IS perfection anyway? I propose, as a sankalpa or  yoga intention, to shift the mindset from measuring perfection against its illusion to measuring it against happiness and contentment. This is a profound shift as it creates greater value and trust in our selves and our discernment of things or situations.



On Creating Harmony

Sometimes we get tunnel-vision in our pursuit of our goals, including in our yoga. Ironically, this can weigh down on our spirit and cascade into all aspects of our being. When this happens, take a breath and free the spirit to let everything fall into harmony. Don't overthink it. Do something that makes you happy, however small that is; related or not to your goals. But the important thing to remember is this - ALLOW yourself to be happy to ALLOW the spirit to be free. This has a very refreshing and harmonising effect to our whole being.



On The Point of Asana

When doing a challenging Kapha Dosha Vinyasa or any strong, strenuous yoga flow, I invite you, my Mad Yogi tribe, to have this as your sankalpa or intention - realise that the physical movement, the asana and vinyasa aren't really the point of yoga.


In our class, we use the physical aspect as a metaphor to reflect the challenges and struggles we face off the mat.  Asana represents our challenges. The breath (pranayama) centres and calms us. Mindfulness & meditation gives us the space (in our heads) to organise and objectively look at our situations. Savasana (corpse pose) represents our surrender to the divine, the ultimate trust that we've done enough and are enough.  While the study of yogic texts (Sutras) or the teachings of the Dalai Lama or anyone who inspires you does just that - inspire us to, while being happy with ourselves, still keep growing and become better versions of who we are.


It's what's going on at the levels unseen that are the point of yoga and not about being able to stand on our heads or tips of our fingers.




On Creating a Dedicated Practice - A reflection on Dedication to your yoga practise.

Some would say a dedicated practise is ideally done as often as we can, following a set routine and learning as many topics about the subject. I agree to some extent, but the downside of such a rigorous structure is the judgement on ourselves that happen when we fail in sticking to it. We think that we’ve done a backslide and have to start again.


I don’t follow a schedule. I don’t follow a tradition or school of thought. I haven’t even read all of the Sutras. Does this mean I’m not dedicated? No, because I know I am. I know that I love yoga. I learn as much of it that resonates with my nature as I can. I know that when I need to practise – vinyasa for the body, meditation & study for the mind or Pranayama for the heart & spirit – I can and will.

Dedication and devotion to your yoga practise isn’t about rigidity. It’s about trusting that your practise will be there to go back to when you need it. In time, it will be part of your life, not just a life style. Part of your nature, not just an adjunct.

Part of who you are and as essential as breathing.



There you have it, the first compilation of our Managing Negative Emotions yoga companion. Come back to it whenever you need to, and remember:

1) Simple joys remind us of who we are.

2) Manage fiery emotions so we don't get ourselves and our loved-ones burned, and

3) Self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love are powerful things.


All my love,

Aileen, your Mad Yogi




February 18, 2019, 10:05 am

P.S. Speaking about managing negative emotions, I just wanted to share this update. I've been getting frustrated with Facebook as my ads keep getting flagged and I don't know why but have a sense that it is because of the word "negative".  So to manage my own emotions, I meditated on this and ask myself how can I get over this roadblock? Then the proverbial light bulb went off, hence the change in the title.  And you know what? I like it better! Roadblock demolished and wellbeing achieved!






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