Toolkit on How Not to Over Think
I get many students asking if there is certain asan or pranayama that can help them not to overthink. Yog is not some pill that we can pop-in and expect the result within few minutes, Yog is a way of life and when once you follow these simple ways of living, you shall be happier and fitter in mind and body.
So, if a certain asan practice cannot help me with my overthinking than how is Yog going to help me? By practicing yogic techniques of reflection to understand your Chitta. (Chitta can be translated as mind for now as a general understanding). Reflection is practised to cultivate mental detachment and to train the mind to become an observer of its own thinking. Reflection technique is a simplified form of a deeper and more advanced practice of self-study, called Anitya Bhavana. Its objective is to discriminate between what is permanent and what is not.
The concept of Anitya Bhavana in yoga; a concept that finds place in Jain scriptures as well. Anitya translates into impermanence and refers to all that is transient or ephemeral in our lives. When we try to make impermanent things permanent and cause ourselves to suffer, when you are disturbed or unhappy or depressed by what is happening in your life, it helps to step back from our problems and to consider the bigger picture. When everyone seems to be not understanding you, you need to examine whether this is really so. This reflection technique shall help you understand your Vrittis (fluctuation of your mind), behavioural patterns and thought process.
The sequence of steps:
Why should I be attached to anything when nothing is permanent and everything is changing?
Sit in Sukhasana/ Vajrasana or any other meditative posture and close the eyes. If not possible to sit on the floor, sit on a firm chair with an erect backrest.
- Mentally, passively review the events of the day in detail and in chronological order.
- Do not judge or analyse any thought/event. Just let it play like a movie in front of your eyes.
- When we go deeper into the technique beyond a mere chronological listing of events; we have to analyse our state of mind, our feelings and even thoughts while living that particular moment.
Recommended practice: Practice daily, preferably before bedtime.
Limitations /Contraindications: No limitations–everyone can practice it.
- The end result is gaining the quality of “mindfulness”, an important aspect of our personality. It is a quality which enables us to be aware of our own self and of the surrounding.
- A powerful memory training technique.
- Helps with understanding and correcting the patterns that lead to overthinking.
Kamana Pereira is a level III Certified Yoga aacharya from The Yoga Institute, Mumbai. She has been associated with The Yoga Institute as the Center Head, Goa branch previously and is currently the Head of The Yoga Institute’s Health and Wellness Centre at Kochi. She has worked on the rehabilitation program for rescued girls at the Deonar camp and underprivileged children with the Mumbai, BMC. Kamana takes personal classes on request. You can reach out to her on email@example.com or connect on twitter @Kilo_Bravo13
October 9, 2022