In my life, I work to bring my yoga practice into my daily life. As I have said in my bio, I found yoga poses 10 years ago. Since then I have wanted to learn more about the philosophy and the other 7 limbs of practice as outlined in the Yoga Sutras.
I have a few things I do daily that has really improved my mental well-being. I have a consistent meditation practice, I use affirmations, and I reflect to help balance out my daily experiences.
What is Reflection?
Reflection is a self-analysis and it is a wonderful tool to add to your bedtime routine. Use the analysis to remember the events of your day and take note of any repeating patterns. note repeating patterns of emotional ups and downs, my cycles of procrastination and activity, and the kinds of people I keep encountering. This practice is a great tool and can be done either mentally or on paper.
How to Practice Reflection
Before going to bed at night, find a comfortable place where you can sit up straight and alert. It is fine to sit in a chair, or comfortably on the floor. I have a bolster and blanket in my bedroom.
Take a moment, close your eyes, and remember back to the beginning of your day. Visualize all of the activities, events, or encounters you had during the entire day; see it all step-by-step as your day progressed. As the memory of your day unfolds, take note of emotional periods. Note them down and recognize if they were negative emotions or positive emotions.
During the period of recollection, find one moment in your day that felt very beautiful. Hold the feeling of that moment in your mind and then send that feeling back out to the moment, person, or situation. Then send that feeling back to yourself, allowing it to bless your own body and mind. Then take the feeling and visualize sending it out into the entire world.
The next step is to choose the moment that was most negative or irritating. Try to reflect on it from a different perspective, see it through a different lens. Try to see it through a lens that is logical and rational. Then send loving thoughts to that person or situation.
Reflecting with a different perspective is sometimes difficult. Many times the mind wants to rebel or resist seeing the situation differently. We often want to argue our side of things or only see it from our personal perspective. I like to diffuse an emotionally balancing essential oil or apply one to help combat the resistance. Some good choices are Surrender, Release, Clarity, Valor, Present Time, or even Frankincense (there are so many to choose from and I typically just grab what is convenient and close or that I am intuitively drawn to).
The Benefits of Reflection
The benefit of this practice is that you will become aware of emotional patterning and will be able to clear and balance them and feel a stronger sense of peace and freedom.
Practicing this daily makes it easier to let go of thoughts more easily in the moment. You will be able to notice when a habitual thought pattern starts nagging you. Just having awareness and seeing things from a different lens can assist in releasing negative emotions before they take over and steal precious moments of your day.
I know that I have often lost a lot of my day solely due to emotional discord. Being able to shift my perspective and emotional state allows me to use the energy I would lose on healthier alternatives.`