What does it feel like to really trust yourself? How can we use yoga and meditation to build self-trust?
I was faced with a challenging situation at work recently (when I am not teaching yoga I work as an occupational therapist with youth who have mental health disorders) and I needed to decide what course of action to take with a client’s case. I felt torn, confused, and frozen. I was so worried that whatever decision I made would be the wrong one. I tried to put the decision on other people so that if I did make the wrong decision it wouldn’t be my fault. I procrastinated and did not trust in my ability to make a good decision. I was miserable and preoccupied for a few days, and eventually came to my yoga mat and meditation cushion to sort out how I was feeling and behaving.
I realized that this experience is not uncommon for me -- I often worry that I am making the wrong decision and I have a very hard time trusting myself to make a good decision. I have some ideas on how this thought process became a pattern for me, but what I really want to know is how can I learn to trust myself more? As I’ve been thinking more about this concept, I’ve started to feel like trust is really the foundation of everything and shapes how we perceive the world around us. “Trust vs. Mistrust” is the first stage in the theory of psychosocial development, and “Trust & Belonging” are themes of the first chakra (root chakra). In both of these theories, you can not further your development without a basic sense of trust.
So-- trust seems pretty important. Here are some ways I plan to use my yoga and meditation practice so that I can learn to trust myself and others more. My hope is that these practices might be helpful for those of you that experience a similar struggle.
Practice poses that bring awareness to the root chakra (standing poses, squat, mountain pose, seated meditation posture)
Repeat root chakra affirmations during meditation (I TRUST MYSELF, I TRUST IN LIFE)
Connect with a sense of intuition and TRUST MY INTUITION
I plan to take confident actions based on the knowledge of my intuition and make the best choice that I can make in the moment. In the words of Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” And for when I do make the “wrong” choices-- I turn to the words of my teacher, Rolf Gates, “forgive yourself for being a learner in this lifetime.”
With love, Hana