Confronting our emotions is no easy task. In fact, most of us choose to run away or shut our feelings out. However, resisting our emotions can leave us feeling even more stressed and fatigued.
Below is a meditation to help us embrace and go with the ebb and flow of our emotions.
For this meditation, you may lie down on your yoga mat or bed. Lie on your back, with your feet relaxed and legs wider than your hips. Soften the shoulders and open the palms up to the sky. When you are ready to begin, close your eyes.
Begin with a body scan. Scan your body from the tips of your toes up to the crown of the head. Feel the shape of your body, and feel the space that your body takes up. Notice how the body feels today, both physically and energetically.
Tune into your emotions. Notice the different emotions that you are feeling at the moment. It’s alright if these emotions are contradictory—it is normal to feel happy and sad at the same time. Do not question or resist these emotions. Simply allow yourself to feel them.
Observe how your emotions impact your body and breath. For example, are your feelings of panic and anxiety creating heaviness across your chest or twisting in your belly? As an effect of these, are you holding your breath?
Related: Practicing Equal Parts Breathing
Notice how your body and breath are responding to your feelings. Do not try to resist or fight these off. Rather, observe the connection across your body, breath, and emotions.
Remember once again that emotions are like waves. They come and go. One wave may be larger, more daunting than the next. Another wave could simply be smaller and lighter.
If it helps you, visualize your emotions as actual waves. And instead of fighting against them, simply go with their natural ebb and flow.
Imagine yourself being carried by each wave, unafraid. Allow them to toss you and turn you, until they lose their strength, until they simply become gentle foam at your feet.
Know that your emotions are not as intimidating as you may think. They may be formidable and volatile at first, but remember that the path of least resistance is also that which brings about feelings of peace.
When you are ready to end your practice, come back to your body and breath. Then, open your eyes.