Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Yoga Journaling!

So in my World Religions class, we've been learning about Hinduism. Towards the end of class, we talked about the different types of yoga. The type of yoga taught in yoga classes is just one type of a whole spiritual practice within the Hindu faith--it's a type called yoga for the body.

There are four main types of yoga and you can choose whichever best fits your personality. We haven't finished talking about all of them, but the last one we talked about is knowledge yoga which I think fits my personality very well. The knowledge yoga focuses on introspection and thinking. So what you need to do to succeed in this type of yoga to progress on your spiritual journey is to begin to stop thinking about yourself so much--to bring down your ego.

Dr. Hobbie, my professor, asked who in the room journals. Well, I only ever journal if I'm really upset about something or if I'm traveling (for instance, I kept a travel journal in Spain), so didn't raise my hand because I don't consider myself a regular journal-er. However, after class, I decided to take his suggestion.

Dr. Hobbie suggested that the next time any of us journals, we stop using "I" and refer to ourselves in third person. For example, "Rachel went to breakfast today. She had cereal and coffee."

I decided to try this right after class. This week especially has been stressful for me. This week is sorority recruitment and then on top of that I'm taking 18 hours and I'm involved in practically every club on campus. Essentially, I've had no time.

When I got back to my room, I dug out my journal and started writing. It followed my usual pattern at first. You know, me complaining about all my feelings and just other angsty things. But the big difference is that I was talking about myself as if I were another person intimate acquainted with myself. If that makes sense.

For you to get an idea, here's a little excerpt from my entry. "Rachel has been really stressed this week. Spending two hours every night practicing for recruitment not only seems like a bad use of her time, but she feels overwhelmed spending so much time with so many other women." You get the drift.

But then, I found the tone changing once I vented out all my feelings. Normally, that's where I end my journal. This time, however, I suddenly began writing about how happy I am and how I lose sight of that. "Rachel just got back from an amazing time in Spain. She has amazing friends that were still here when she came back. Rachel really does enjoy most of recruitment practice from the sense of community and bonding felt among the other women. She has a family that loves her."

I don't know why my journal suddenly became positive at the end, but I'll take a bet that it had something to do with taking the focus off of myself to an extent.

I thought I'd share this because I found it really therapeutic and definitely something a stressed college student (or anyone else) might want to consider trying!