As in the writing of this blog, I am very mindful of the new year. School is a tough place to be during the continued pandemic. As such, I plan and practice in 2022 with the intent to engender and model compassion for both to myself and others, as well as seek out and build relationship with other-than-human entities without attachment to nostalgia and antiquarianism (Rasmussen, p. 21). As such, my experiences with yogic traditions and practices and its internal and external dialogues are nourished and refined infusing and cultivating these relationships through the language and process of Nonviolent Communication (#nvc). Further, compassionate communication does not occur in a vacuum, nor requires a certain religiosity or ideology or refutation, as consciousness and intent can be expressed through silence and our quality of presence (Rosenberg, p. 7). As such, I strive to cultivate this awareness and connection to moment in community as both the catalyst for and the #healing itself in all interactions and situations.
The simple ways to cultivate connection daily becomes the practice itself; these include, but are not limited to the following for me:
- Playing xx (e.g., music, music, climbing up a tree)
- Learning (e.g., a new languages, skills, perspectives)
Today’s first practice of 2022 utilizes mudra, affirmation/mantra, pranayama, movement/asana, and visualization. Please feel free to explore the readings that inform this practice and explore other offerings in platforms listed below. As always, I invite you to practice in the spirit and intention using the processes and language of nonviolent communication (more details below). You can find a link to January’s first LIVE practice here.
Mudras in Today’s Practice
Kalesvara Mudra is dedicated to the deity, Kalesvara, who rules over time. In this mudra, we place our middle fingers together, touching the first two joints of the index finger and thumb tips. Bend the fingers not touching inward with the thumbs pointing toward the chest and spread your elbow widely to the outside (Hirsch, 134).
Benefits: This mudra is said to strengthen memory and concentration as well as calm agitation. It can also support new habits (like those many new year resolutions wish to encompass), helping change character traits, supporting memory and concentration, and/or eliminating addictive behavior; with this in mind, it is recommended that it is practiced 10-20 minutes each day for this intent (Hirsch, 134).
Suggested Affirmation: I enjoy being xx [this] or xx [that] (Hirsch, 135).
Visualization: Imagine a situation or scene in which you act and react in a new way.
Pranayama: Take 10 long deep even breaths, listening and observing your breath, and lengthening the pause after the inhalation and exhalation evenly as we progress (Hirsch, 134).
Nonviolent Communication (also called Compassionate Communication) carries the assumption that we have a shared desire to give and receive from the heart. Thus, even yoga practice can cultivate compassionate communication which fosters listening, respect and deep empathy and engenders this mutual desire to give from the heart (Rosenberg, 12) both to ourselves and the greater world (when we are ready). Whether this meets you in disbelief or in possibility, I invite you to explore the process through our practice together or further reading. The four components are::
References for this practice:
Hirschi, G., Grimm, C. M., & Ito, J. (2016). Mudras: Yoga in your hands. Weiser Books.
Rasmussen, Rune H. (2021). The Nordic Animist Year. Nordic Animism.
Rosenberg, Marshall B. (2015). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. PuddleDancer Press.
We invite You be part as #EMY expands. Please visit us on our new platform or YouTube channel (links below). Your support has made this possible, and We appreciate You!
EMY on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvMnkeD2ZpGCszoQte51a0A
Please explore more of the beautiful music (and inspiration to stay strong) on Fred Altensee’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4RM