Riding the Waves

Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Michael Dawes

How can we suffer less when faced with tough situations? Think about those times when things don’t go as planned or hoped for—at work, for example, or in a relationship. In these moments, we often wish that things were different: “If only _________.”

Sound familiar?

But, as Kripalu Senior Life Coach Aruni Nan Futuronsky states in her R&R Retreat workshop Riding the Waves, yoga teaches us that we can’t control reality. But, when we allow ourselves to simply be in the present moment, softening our grip and letting go of expectations, we can begin to open our perspectives.

As Aruni says, allowing ourselves to feel whatever it is we’re feeling with any given experience can help us find equanimity with whatever life gives us. From that foundation, we can shift our awareness from struggling to acceptance.

One powerful way to ride the waves of life’s challenges is one of the benchmarks of the Kripalu tradition. It’s a practice called BRFWA, which stands for Breathe, Relax, Feel, Watch, Allow. Next time you feel anxious or uncertain about a situation you’re facing, try the following techniques and see what happens.

Breathe. Ground yourself in the present moment by noticing the quality of your inhalations and exhalations. Connecting to your breath and help you find balance and help you tap into inner strength.

Relax. Create space within yourself by releasing any unnecessary tension: soften your muscles, let go of gripping in your jaw. Notice how that affects your mental activity as well.

Feel. Bring your awareness on the details of your sensations, thoughts, emotions, memories. Welcome whatever arises with curiosity, compassion, and an open heart.

Watch. Develop a sense of nonjudgmental awareness around whatever is happening. Observe the situation as it unfolds: notice what comes up while remaining fully engaged with the experience.

Allow. Cultivate passionate non-attachment. Commit to yourself and the situation your in, but allow the outcome to be what it is, without expectations.

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