Pain often comes up when we do yoga asanas, as it does when we do any exercise. For some of us, pain is a daily sensation whether we exercise or not. Mindfulness yoga offers helpful ways to approach our perception of bodily pain. Find out what this Buddhist yoga teacher and author has to say about pain, here.
In many cases, pain sensations increase from moment to moment and our reactivity grows and changes, conditioned by ever-increasing sensations.
At first, as the sensations arise, we jump to the notion that this pain is a thing. We identify with the pain and may say, “My shoulders are killing me.” A fantasy may arise in the mind about how much we hate this posture or exercise, or our teacher for having us stay in the posture too long–at least, too long for our taste. Instead, we can commit to paying really close attention to what is happening. Really observe the sensations. What we see, if we stick with it, is that the sensations are not personal. The sense of self grows less hard and solid. There is just sensation and it is constantly changing. The discomfort and pain is seen as empty. It is not a separate entity with which we should do battle. It is a natural conditioned process. It is no different with feelings, mental formations, or consciousness.
Adapted from Mindfulness Yoga, by Frank Jude Boccio (Wisdom Publications, 2004). Find out about his workshop March 11-18 in Costa Rica at www.eomega.org.