Yoga for Loneliness
It is not unusual to feel like we are isolated, all alone in our experience. When we feel this way, we feel a sense of loneliness, a sense of separation in our experience and a lack of connection. We feel cut off from each other and the natural world.
Recently, I have been struggling with my own vulnerability at coming forward with my story, the one I am starting to tell about living with migraines and the effect it has had on my nervous system, adrenals and its relationship to my hormonal health. When I was sitting and speaking to one of the health representatives I am collaborating with, feeling completely insecure, vulnerable isolated and alone about how I want to spread a message of hormonal health, nervous system health, and adrenal health, he said, ¨well those are the three biggest health conditions on the planet today.¨ All of a sudden I didn’t feel so alone.
Loneliness is not a bad thing. It is part of the human condition. However, like many of the more painful emotions, it is a feeling that we often want to avoid feeling and get out of as quickly as possible. With loneliness it is normal to not want to open to the feeling of loneliness.
We have all sorts of ways of avoiding the emotions of loneliness and isolation. Usually we look for a way out. We look for something to cheer us up or to change our mood. This might be compulsive social media scrolling, or workaholism to fill the void. Maybe we fill our social calendar with social engagements to fill the quiet. Perhaps if we do not want to be with the raw discomfort of isolation we might tell ourselves the story of how we are a victim or of how somebody else has messed up. Either way we claim victory or victim-hood in our discursive thought and endless stories.
With loneliness we are encouraged to go beyond the impulsivity to avoid the emotion or propel ourselves into the stories and open to the raw, ache of our heart. Opening to that sense of tenderness and vulnerability is a courageous act of compassion that paves the way for trustworthiness. When you make friends with your own loneliness, you realize that many others are suffering just like you, and ironically you discover you are not alone but intimately connected.
With loneliness, with isolation, with that sense of separation, we can identify with and connect with others – there is a sense of tenderness and vulnerability that becomes possible in yourself and others and through that your compassion becomes more trustworthy.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Yoga Postures/Asanas: Crocodile Pose, Sphinx Pose or Salambha Bhujangasana, Front Lying Upper Body Twist, Cat Pose or Marjaryasana, Puppy Pose or Uttana Shishosana, Cow´s Face Arm´s or Gomukhasana Arms from Goddess Victory Squat or Utkata Konasana, Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold or Prasarita Padottanasana, Reverse Table, Cow´s Face or Gomukhasana, Savasana or Vyapak Anjali Mudra
Props: yoga strap
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Let me know in the comments how it is to open to the challenging emotion of isolation and loneliness.
Thank you so much for your donations :
Diane from Nova Scotia, Donna from Saskatchewan, Khalid Albidour from UAE
If you want more support in opening to loneliness, each Monday we meet in our live classes in our membership community for guided meditations. I give a teaching talk and then lead a guided meditation. You have a chance to ask questions and receive support for your practice. This is an amazing part of our community and we would love to have you.