I am a Monkey
You’re a monkey, I’m a monkey, we’re all monkeys. Not my words (Charles Darwin)
What are you doing today? What do you want to do? What do you desire? What do other people expect from you? Who do you need to impress today? Who are you judging? Who’s judging you? What are your expectations? What do you want? What did you do this morning? What should you have done? Why did you drink last weekend? Why did you eat all that sugar? What’s that smell? I need a coffee. I need food, I’m a bloody lunatic.
Imagine if you could train your mind to be free of all this chatter. Imagine if you could not react to these thoughts, not react to this chimp inside your head. Bring control to the emotional side of your brain. Control stress, fear, hunger, and even one day suffering. Tune into a deeper consciousness in which you can come back to a place of stillness, of calm, of peace.
Good news, you can. You can train your mind as you can train your body. It doesn’t happen overnight. Just like you can’t become an Olympic athlete over night, you can’t become a guru of the mind in one day. However the first step is becoming conscious, knowing that life can become meditation. You can learn the power of the mind to affect the physiology of the body. You can affect the endocrine system. Endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocins can make you feel amazing and be accessed through exercise, breath holds and meditation.
None of this is easy and I’m nowhere near this end goal. In fact, what goes on inside my head is usually very complex. But becoming conscious of this is the first step. Acceptance and learning strategies to deal with the lows rather than react to them is the key to managing the mind, the key to controlling your monkey.
Strategies - Methods to control your monkey
“Yoga chitta vritti nirodha” - yoga calms the fluctuations of the mind. Learn how to notice but not react to your thoughts. Check out our website for classes and week long retreats.
Next time you feel a stress response coming. Repeat ✋ Stop, 5 times then come to an Ujjayi breath 5 in, 5 out. Repeat for a minute. Notice the cortisol levels immediately drop and gain a new perspective on perceived stress.
Nasal Box breath 4:8:8:4 . Inhale for 4, hold for 8, exhale for 8, hold for 4. Lengthening exhale lowers blood pressure and breathing through the nose stimulates parasympathetic nervous system slowing everything down and bringing calm and stillness.
Wim Hoff style - Active inhalation, passive exhalation. Cotty has been practising this every day since he broke his back and has found huge benefits for the mind as well as for the physiology of the body.
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