Posted by Rachel Cieslewicz | July 27, 2016
Cultivating compassion through yoga and meditation as a practice is possible. Each of us in life experience fear, hate, anger, love, gratitude, happiness, joy— truly the entire spectrum of emotions all humans experience. Sometimes it can become too much to observe the suffering of others, or suffer ourselves.
As humble sentient beings, we cannot hold the pain of the world on our shoulders, or even completely physically fix what may be harming the Earth and her creatures.
But we can do what is possible. We can be kind to all, including the face shining in the mirror. We can help a stranger, recycle, apologize, visit a friend, and take the time to meet a neighbor. We can write beautiful words in emails and other places, and more. You can attend a yoga class from an authentic studio, such as those offered at Yoga Soul. What other ways can you do your part?
Kindness to all sentient beings is one way to cultivate compassion. Practicing compassion does not necessarily mean to delve into the depths of sorrow, but to instead assists growth in learning to develop empathy and love towards loved ones, those we may not even know, as well as those who cause suffering. This circles back to experiencing a feeling compassion for self.
Fortunately there are myriad ways to practice compassion for self, and all sentient beings. Cultivating compassion creates a resonance effect, much like a pebble being dropped into a pond, to reach all who suffer.
Your yoga or meditation practice is a perfect time to practice compassion. Regardless of what comes up, can you honor it? If you feel anger, pain, or frustration, can you breathe and be kind to yourself in response? If a thought comes up of fear or grief, can you allow breath to acknowledge it? If you experience the delight of a new version of a yoga pose, can you love and celebrate the miracles our body performs in that moment, and all moments? While sitting in meditation, can you allow whatever comes up to show you what needs to be known so it can then evolve into light?
Any and all of this can bring you into the present moment. And in the present moment it is possible for compassion to flow seamlessly inside. From there the outer practice comes naturally. What is within us can shine beyond. We look forward to sharing practice at Yoga Soul with you.