We continue our mindfulness based yoga series with the final letter of the acronym RAIN. This phrase was first coined by Michele McDonald and has since been used by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. I first used the acronym RAIN in Namaste Yoga 211 in the Hanuman Series on Taming Your Monkey Mind
RAIN (recognition, acceptance, investigation and non-identification) is a mindfulness based compassionate tool that you can use when you are feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, depressed, challenged and dealing with difficulty. It is a way to stop being so hard on yourself. When you find yourself trapped in mental drama, emotional pain, self-criticism, worry and negative mental habits that are common to all of us as human beings, RAIN can be a mindfulness compassion tool that allows you to feel less overwhelmed.
The N – non-identification of RAIN reminds you that your negative mental habits, whether they be painful thoughts, feelings and sensations are not you. As you step to the side with non-identification, you can observe those thoughts, feelings and sensations and realize no they are not you. You can watch them go by like a bad news feed.
RAIN is a tool you can use when your inner critic is getting loud. Many of you will remember our Inner Critic Series. This past week, I have been pushed by my The Pusher. If you want to learn more about the Pusher, go back to Namaste Yoga 277 . My pusher has been pushing me to do more, achieve more, move forward, and get ahead as the calendar year rolls into 2016. As my pusher looks back on 2015, he doesn’t think I’ve achieved enough, he thinks I could have done more, faster and better. My pusher wants to raise the bar and raise it high.
With mindful compassion, the tools of RAIN, I have recognized, accepted, investigated and brought natural loving awareness to what has really happened for me over the past year. My identification with my small self has loosened. I realized that my sense of who I am is not defined by the story that my Pusher was telling me. Then there was the possibility of living from a place of openness and love that is the natural awareness that Tara Brach speaks about.
Tara Brach reminds us that the RAIN of mindfulness and self-compassion is not a one-time thing. Your natural loving awareness will not be stable and enduring. This does not mean that you cannot trust your shift in perspective when it happens. You may experience this shift in perspective as warmth, openness or an acceptance. RAIN is a practice for life. It is something you will have to do over and over again. It is a way to meet your doubts and fears. Each time you recognize overwhelm, stress, anxiety, judgment, and your inner critic, you are in a position to let go of the old habit and slowly over time you will begin to experience a natural loving awareness that is the Truth of who you are, over any story your inner critic is telling you.
Props Needed: yoga strap, yoga blocks,
Yoga Postures/Asanas: Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana, Supta Padangusthasana or Hand to Big Toe Pose, Cat Pose or Marjaryasana, Thread the Needle or Parsva Balasana, Pushan Mudra, Lunge Pose or Anjaneyasana, Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Pose, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose, Warrior Three or Virabhadrasana Three, Wide Legged Standing Forward fold or prasarita padottanasana, Matsyendrasana Variation
Resource: Jack Kornfield Bringing Home the Dharma, Awakening Right Where You Are
Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are
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Today’s question to answer in the comments is: What thoughts, emotions, sensations or stories are you dropping this week?
We went into detail on the teachings of the letters in RAIN, recognition, acceptance, integration and non-identification today. If you would like a beautiful infographic, with some quick reminders about each part of rain, enter your email address below to sign up there to receive that.
If you would like more support in bringing mindfulness alive in your life then I recommend starting a meditation practice. We have a meditation group in our membership community and an Introduction to Meditation section in our community that teaches you how to sit, how to be with your breath, your body, your thoughts, and emotions.
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