What to do with your thoughts? We all have thousands of them every day and different yoga schools recommend different approaches when it comes to them. Here is a little article where I would like to share on my personal experiences as a former brain-entanglement pro!
Should we learn to control the incessant flow of thoughts as yoga teaches us – though practice and meditation in order to decrease them in our heads little by little? Can we finally give way to relaxation and inner peace?
Or should we, as recommended by other personal development movements, give them room to express themselves fully in order to decipher the message?
A thought, despite what our conscience says, always arises from an emotion. An emotion is nothing other than an energy flow which hugs us in the form of a feeling first and then turns into thought.
We all have, to varying degrees, thoughts that sometimes overwhelm us. Here is an emotion and whoopsie!, the train of thoughts is launched. This guy cut me off, these drivers are terrible, this other asshole got to me, the problems I had with these incapacitated insurers, plus they cost me dear, I still have to pay them up when I get my taxes, etc.
In this context, it seems indeed wise to learn yoga, because we very often get lost in our thoughts, which, we must admit, are most often negative, or at least disturbing to our mental balance.
But there are also other thoughts, such that arise from an interaction with someone that make us ruminate, or from an article that challenged us and referred to situations from the past, present or future.
For my part, as I am a simple apprentice of life, I present to you my point of view on the question:
Before, I had a lot of thoughts, but most of them were of ruminative nature. I embarked on every train of thought that passed and went around the world, or should I say they got on the tour of my life in no time. And this typically happened several dozen times a day. You could even say that I was travelling to places at every single point of time in the day.
The discovery of yoga and mediation was a real blessing fallen from the sky for me. At first, I learned how to stop the train from time to time and allow my mind to take a break. Then over time, I learned how to regain control of my mental journeys by choosing the direction in which I wanted to go, controlling my speed, travel time and above all, I learned how to stop when I needed a break.
The observation that I made then was that yes, I was entangling my brain less and the variety of thoughts had inevitably diminished too, as my inner halts were prolonged.
That said, my big thoughts, those existential ones, those that sent me back to my fears, to my beliefs, to my trauma, if I dare to use this term at all, those that put me in a victim position, they returned despite all I did on a regular basis and almost always were as intense as before.
I then came across a very interesting person online – Franck Lopvet (look him up if your heart tells you to do so). Franck says that each emotion is born in us and it is done so in order for it to transmit a message. If we give it the opportunity, it will give us an energy key to go and unlock an old “trauma” stuck in the corridors of time. Or so he says.
That resonated a lot with me. I still took a little time to internalize the concept, but now that I understand it, I apply it systematically. According to what I gathered, it is a question of letting the emotion and the thoughts live in us.
I stop. I feel. I let emotion and thought take their place and do so without wanting to analyze it and re-lose myself in a re-analysis of my past.
Then came a message, sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious, which is this famous key, which will, without me doing anything in particular, release this old emotion that is lingering in my system. And this one, despite my efforts, prevented me from envisioning what I wanted in life.
Personally, I think that if I am able to receive the message in question so systematically today, it is thanks to the pre-dusting practice that yoga and meditation have taught me. I have gone inside so often that the layers between me and my soul have become very thin.
To answer the initial questions as to whether to silence or leave the thoughts be is the better practice, I would say that we must do both. We have to silence them to sort them out and eliminate parasitic ones, so that they can “finish” (I later found out that it is never really finished) the cleaning work. And this we can only do by welcoming them.
This is a very broad subject and I could keep on arguing about it for hours on end, but then I would lose your attention and this is not what I want.
I hope that my story has given you food for thought (be careful not to blindly get on the train of thoughts I just offered you a ticket for there) and that it will allow you to try to become the driver of the locomotive rather than the onlooker who gets embarked on a journey despite his/her own feelings.
And if it’s a little difficult to do this on your own – no worries, I’m here to teach you yoga and meditation, and to coach you on finding your keys that are buried deep under your layers of dust.