352: Sitting Pretty

20130106_172056[1]As children or maybe even as adults we may have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of being sent to the naughty chair. Public and uncomfortable it is symbol of where we have erred in the human race. I have several versions of self imposed ‘naughty chair’ that I visit on a daily basis. The squirming of criticism from others, the comment from your Father ‘ my family depresses me’ or maybe the look from a partner or child, all send me reeling back to the chair.
In many streams of yoga the Asana or postures only have one purpose and that is to move energy through your body so you can sit comfortably in meditation. Usually when we sit in meditation for the first wee while we are comfortable, and then in moments everything becomes very uneasy. The body starts to cramp, the mind starts to crowd with the comments of the day, the breath becomes shallow and suddenly we want out. We want out when we get that tight constricting feeling of the comment or look, we want out when we realise that the person we are with isn’t going to make us happy for the rest of our lives. As soon as we get comfortable then the discomfort starts.The Tibetan Buddhists nod to this in their first noble truth.
In the yoga outlined by Patanjali, he quotes ‘Sthira Sukham Asanam’ (Seated posture should be steady and comfortable.) What he is referring to is that you must find the comfort in the discomfort even if it is self imposed.
Practice for Today:Sit comfortably with and erect spine, close your eyes and watch your breath on a microscopic level. Wait until the discomfort comes up and be an observer of that. Can you sit with this in meditation and then take that practice with you to your everyday life?

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