Welcome to our weekly blog series! Each month we feature one of our amazing Bread and Yoga teachers sharing their thoughts or teachings from their class with you and our community. Today’s post is from February’s blogger and Hatha/Vinyasa teacher Rian Bodner. Check back every Saturday for a new post!
Mercury is in retrograde. I know, I know, it sounds like such a lofty thing to invest your interest in but here’s the thing: just like the moon affects the tides, we’re also made up of water so it affects us as well (we’re just not monitoring our behaviors like we do the shores). So, planets affect us as well in various ways. Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth and travel, so when the planet goes retrograde — which means that it looks like it’s going backwards in the sky — all those things go backwards. You might find yourself in arguments, unable to finish sentences, or even think clearly. Even your computer and other electronic equipment is more likely to have some sort of issue.
Whether this makes sense to you or not, it’s a good excuse to look at the way we communicate. We have all been in a situation where we feel like we have not been heard, or acknowledged. Where our point of view was shunned or not even listened to at all. There is that voice inside that can rise up and leave us feeling hurt, frustrated, angry, or even insignificant. We have not been heard, no one knows we were right, or why we were wrong.
Can you become comfortable with not desiring the gratification of relaying your perspective? Interpersonal communication and your own wellbeing are two very different thing. We do not exist simply because someone else sees that we do. Our experience does not become more accepted because someone else can see it. We can connect through shared experiences and communicating ideas but are not a product of them. You are more than your accomplishments, more than your opinion, more than your errors. Your existence is far more generous and whole than the acknowledgement of it by anyone else. The ego is the part of you that says “look at me, I exist, I am important”. But can you hold space for yourself without needing to justify or explain anything to anyone for any reason? This practice isn’t in lieu of expressing yourself, but feeling a sense of wholeness and peace regardless of the outcome.
Take five minutes. Sit down before you leave your home and practice this meditation:
You will be using the left hand for the movement while the right hand stays relaxed at the right knee or in your lap. Using the left hand, place it in front of the heart center about six inches in front of the chest. As you say the mantra, “I Am” out loud, bring the hand, with the palm facing your chest, in closer to the chest (4 inches away). On the second, “I Am,” move the hand away from the chest until it is about 12 inches out from the chest. Inhale through the nose and then bring the hand back to the beginning position of being 6 inches in front of the chest. Continue this cycle.
End: Inhale deeply, briefly hold and relax.
Yogi Bhajan Comments: The mantra, “I am, I am,” relates the finite identity of the first “I am” with the Infinite identity of the second one. If you say, “I am,” in your mind, immediately, the mind asks, “What?” If you say only one, “I am,” you will try to answer “I am what?” This produces a finite identity and does not expand the mind beyond the limited self. But if you immediately say a second, “I am,” the thought becomes, “I am what I am,” and to be what you are is the essence of truth. Each time the hand moves, extend yourself beyond the body’s physical limits.