Wisdom to know the difference
[00:00:00] Thank you for listening to the Luminous Recovery Yoga Podcast, hosted by Kari Doherty. The views and opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest. These views and opinions do not represent any specific 12 step program, only my experience, strength, and hope in recovering from the dis-ease of addiction and codependency.
If you'd like to learn more, please visit my website at www. Dot Luminous recovery yoga.com to our own body and the way that we move our body on the mat, but also in the world. So how do these principles apply to me? How does this actually apply to my body and how I'm interacting with the world around me?
So that's what I love about this space, the Luminous Recovery Yoga Podcast. It's an opportunity to exercise our intellect, but also to move our body and to see how those two things connect. And really, there are no two things, right? There [00:01:00] isn't a mind in a body, it's just me. It's just you. We have this Western interpretation.
where I am a mind and I am a body, but really one cannot exist without the other. There is no mind body. There is just you, . And so, you know, it's an interesting idea dualism, but also I am a whole complete being and it takes a body to have a mind and vice versa. One thing that I would like to say before we get going is that if you enjoy this podcast, if this material, this content is something that helps you, you enjoy, I would ask you to do two things.
One, share it. It would just mean the world to me. If you could tell somebody about it. If you know somebody else in recovery or you know somebody else who loves yoga or a combination of the two, it would really. Me and maybe someone else, if you could share this, you can share the whole show. You can share the episode.
There's generally a little button [00:02:00] where you just have to use your finger to hit that button and share it. Share it on social media, share it with a friend, share it with your sponsor. Your sponsor. Anybody who you might think would benefit from. This type of content and this type of material, having a yoga practice, having, you know, just something to think about, it would really help me and the show if you would share it.
The second thing that you can do is you can leave a comment. When you leave a comment on Apple Podcasts, you're basically telling Apple that this podcast is worthwhile. So by you leaving a comment and not just hitting the. On there, you know, you can hit like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 stars. That is helpful. But what really helps is if you leave a few words, if you let the internet know that this is a worthwhile piece of content, that if they're stumbling through Apple Podcasts, they can listen to this and it's something that you have enjoyed and you're letting them know.
So it truly helps a content creator when you take just a couple of seconds to write some words [00:03:00] about how this is helping you or what this podcast means for. , you could do the same thing on YouTube. It really helps to get into the algorithm when you leave a comment. That's one of the greatest things that you could do to help me.
So if you could leave a comment and share this, it is just something that would truly help me and maybe it would help somebody else. So I really thank you for taking the time to listen and to help me and this podcast grow. So with that being said, let's move into the episode this week. . We are in a continuation of a series, and this will be the last of a three part series.
We've been going through the Serenity Prayer. If you've been listening to the podcast, part one, let's see. Let's just say the Serenity Prayer. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. . So that's part one. Accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. That's part [00:04:00] two.
And now we're coming into part three. Wisdom to know the difference. Accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. Wisdom to know the difference. So how does this apply? How do we put this all together? How do we take this serenity prayer that we've broken into three parts and now put it all together?
So first, when I accept the things I cannot change, I become aware of what's happening to me. Acceptance is really the first key step to becoming aware. When I can accept what's happening in my reality, I become aware. and in that awareness, like in the sense of accept the things I cannot change, I become aware of what's happening and courage to change the things I can, gives me the power.
When I [00:05:00] have the courage to change the things I can, I can accept what's happening. And notice in this situation what is not mine and what is mine, what can I not change? And what can I change except the things I cannot change? Courage to change the things I can. And then we get into this final part, wisdom to know the difference.
And I really love this last part, wisdom to know the difference is a word that comes to mind for me. And when I first got into recovery, people would use this word and it just confused the shit out of me. And the word is discernment. The wisdom to know the difference is the wisdom to be discerning, and discernment is something that happens over the course of time when we are first honing ourselves as a tool, right?
Like when we're trying to sharpen ourselves, whether that's through [00:06:00] recovery or therapy, or you know, if we start working out or doing yoga or any of those activities where we want to hone ourselves or we wanna sharpen our body, our mind, and become a little bit more clear in the world.
That process of sharpening, especially like for me, when I first got into recovery, if we're using the analogy of sharpening and honing, I was very. . I'm not saying like my personality was dull, but my skills were dull. I reacted to everything. Everything was a big deal. Anything in the world could set me into a tizzy, anything.
It didn't matter how big or how small. I reacted the same way to everything that happened, and there was just this dullness about how I approached the world. Everything was either a major, huge. or I minimized it and it wasn't a big deal. One of my key classic strategies before I got into [00:07:00] recovery was to pretend that things weren't happening.
If there was something that was happening that was causing me anguish or grief, sadness, or some type of feeling that I associated as negative, it was literally my strategy. And I would say this to. . Just pretend it isn't happening. Just pretend this didn't happen. And what a deep sense of denial. Denial is a powerful drug to deny our reality is a powerful drug.
That is something that that can completely hijack. Reality is when we are in denial. And before I got into recovery, I was in huge amounts of denial. Sometimes I was denying my reality as it was. Sometimes I. Exacerbating reality as it was like maybe something wasn't a big deal, but I certainly made it into one.
Or maybe something was something that was kind of alarming and I was like, oh, let's just pretend that didn't happen. So my ability to discern was really low [00:08:00] and very dull. It was a dull tool. My discernment was a dull. and through the course of time, through recovery, through sobriety, through therapy, learning, yoga, getting more in touch with my body as one whole unit rather than letting my mind hijack a situation and just sort of taking my body for the ride as I've learned to hone myself as a.
my ability to discern reality has gotten sharper. And so for me, the way that comes together in the Serenity Prayer is I can accept the things I cannot change. I can accept the people, places, things, and situations over which I have no control. courage to change the things I can. I can look at a situation and say, okay, these are the people, places, things and situations that I cannot control.
What do I have control over? And generally the answer to that is quite simple, and it's very often the same. It's me. [00:09:00] I can change me. It's generally my perception that needs to shift. Or maybe it's me physically removing myself from a situation, or maybe it's me recognizing. This has nothing to do with me.
This is not my responsibility. And then having the courage to act on that, it really does take courage to change. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results is as we commonly know, the definition of insanity. And sometimes when you're in that cycle of insanity, getting yourself out of it is really hard and very challenging.
And so the courage to make a change. Can be very scary because oftentimes when we change, we don't know what the outcome is gonna be. That saying the devil, you, I think I said this in the last episode like the devil, you know, and the devil you don't. And sometimes the devil we don't know is scarier than the devil we do know.
So if I know that, if I continually [00:10:00] act in this, , then at least I know what I'm gonna get. So it really does take courage to change. And then this final part of the Serenity Prayer, the wisdom to know the difference. And that is where discernment comes into place. Being able to know the difference between what is mine and what is not mine, what can I not change in a situation, and what can I change in a situation?
And that discernment, that wisdom. . That takes time. That takes honing, that takes sharpening. I did not walk into day one of recovery, day one of therapy, day one of yoga day one of whatever, knowing the difference. You know, when I first started yoga, it was really hard for me to discern if I. . You know, like let's say the teacher was teaching something that was completely out of my physical [00:11:00] capability, you know, like arm balances or, you know, even doing, you know, like honestly one of the hardest freaking poses is high crescent lunge.
Is keeping your back heel lifted, your knee bent, and your arms over your head, or let's even back it up. Keeping my arms raised over my head was one of the hardest things when I first started in yoga.
You know, sometimes I was in a class that was actually just the skill level was way too hard for me. Like maybe I needed more of a beginner's course, but I was in an advanced. Level class or something. Right? But I didn't have the wisdom to know the difference, that that's just where I was. And it didn't make me a bad person.
If something became hard in a yoga class, it wasn't like, oh, this class is just not for my skill level. It was, oh, I'm bad. , I'm this, I'm that, I'm out of shape. I should be this way, I should be [00:12:00] different if only I, you know, was at a different point in my life. Like there was just always this sense of blaming myself rather than having that discernment to say, oh, this just isn't my skill level today.
And I didn't have that wisdom to know the difference. I didn't have the wisdom to know the know the difference between, you know, is it me. , and is it just not my skill level? Right? Or maybe the teacher was. and they were offering instructions that didn't quite make sense. But rather than recognizing that I would, it would mean to me that I was dumb or that I was stupid, or that I just didn't know enough.
And so there was just this sense of turning everything into it being about me. Even though none of it was about me and all of it was about me. Right? And, and that sounds confusing, but that to me is where the wisdom to know the difference comes in where, what is mine? What is other people's? And what do I actually need to do in this situation?
If I'm using the yoga pose as an example, what I actually could do in a [00:13:00] situation is just put my knee on the floor, or maybe I could find a wisdom posture. A wisdom posture is that pose that allows me to come back to my breath. Maybe it's child's pose, but at the time, . When I was new at yoga, I really believed that putting my back knee on the floor or taking a break meant something about me, not meant something about me in the sense of like, oh, it means I just need to take a break.
No, it means that I'm weak or it means that I'm not trying hard enough or it means that I'm stupid or I'm dumb. Or like I could come up with any insult that I could have put on myself because I just needed to rest. And I do that still sometimes. , you know, really, it's like there are days where I feel like the world is ending, where I'm like, I don't know how I could possibly go even one more day.
And the reality is I just need a nap. And that is the wisdom to know the difference, the difference between is the world crumbling around me right now or am I having a [00:14:00] halt moment? HALT stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired. There's a whole episode on halt earlier in. Episodes archive. It's an excellent episode.
If you've never heard of halt. HALT is an acronym, but it also means stop . It means just stop. If you are having a moment where you feel like the world is ending and a meltdown is inevitable, it's very possible that you are hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or you know, name any other human affliction that.
Dysregulate, our nervous system. You know, those to me are moments where my nervous system is dysregulated and having the wisdom to know the difference is, is this a crisis or am I creating a crisis because one of these very human activities is a little bit off right now and I need to do some self-care.
Sometimes. The greatest act of self-care that I can do in a moment is feed [00:15:00] myself a snack. Take a little. take a nap or remove myself from a situation. Oftentimes, I can truly deescalate myself with some of the most simple acts. Like it. It's not, oh, I need to make these big changes. I need to do these huge, monumental overhauls of my life.
It's very often I need to like lay down, or I just need to go to bed. Tomorrow will be a different day. Once I get a good eight hours of sleep, I will reset my brain and so often I go to bed and I wake up in the morning with just a whole new perspective on things, and that's the wisdom to know the difference.
There was a time when I did not trust that process. where the idea of today is today and tomorrow is a new day, and tomorrow things might look different. I did not have the wisdom to know that that could bring about a difference. So the wisdom to know the difference is, is really [00:16:00] about discernment. It's about the wisdom to know.
What can I change in this situation that will help me discern if this is mine or this is other people's, or if an action is actually needed? One of the greatest things that I could often do is nothing. I love that saying, don't just do something, sit there, because oftentimes in my crazy thinking, I just want to take an action to make something happen.
And when I'm forcing a solution, that is not the wisdom to know the difference between do I need to act right now or is this something that I just need to sit on and wait Another episode in the archives, if you're looking for something else to consider, is think, and I've talked about how this is my five point checklist.
Thoughtful, honest, intelligent, necessary kind. And so if I'm ever gonna send a text or an email, or I have a message to deliver to somebody, I stop. And I think is this thoughtful, honest, intelligent, necessary, and kind. And [00:17:00] for me, wisdom to know the difference often hinges on necessary. , I need to discern between is this necessary and is this not necessary?
Do I really need to tell this person what I think of them? Do I really need to interject myself in this situation? That is a moment where I really think is this necessary? And in that questioning of, is this necessary, I am. exercising, discernment, you know, and the other thing, because this is a podcast about yoga and recovery and the way those things intersect, and I really try to keep this simple.
Yoga is. a complex system of philosophy. You know, very oftentimes people like to talk about the yoga sutras as though the yoga sutras are the yoga bible. There are so many different books and philosophies about yoga. The yoga sutras are simply one, and it's a powerful one. It's a good one. It's one of the first books ever.
Created that systematized yoga, but it is not [00:18:00] the only book. And I only say that because I'm gonna read from the yoga sutras. But I just want to be clear that there are many systems of yoga. There are many philosophies, many, many books, many books that came before the yoga sutras that the yoga sutras actually borrowed other philosophies from.
So the yoga sutras are powerful, but it is not. The yoga Bible as oftentimes it is represented in modern American yoga. , but I am gonna read from the Yoga sutras. This is the Yoga Sutures of Patanjali. This particular edition commentary book is written by Edwin Bryant. And I'm only gonna read the sutra itself.
His commentary can often get very philosophical and it uses a lot of words that I, I just don't wanna confuse you. I don't want to add in a bunch of extra. I wanna keep this user friendly and digestible. But it is written in the Yoga sutras. Pata two Pata means book. , it also means foot but the second book of the yoga sutras, which talks about practice.
Pat mentions discernment, and this is called and, [00:19:00] and the yoga sutra
And what that means from Sanskrit is the means to liberation is uninterrupted, discriminative discernment. , the means to liberation is uninterrupted discriminative discernment. So, you know what that tells me is that this is, you know, this is an ancient idea. This is an old idea. The idea that we learn to discriminate, discernment.
between the real and the unreal between the illusion and who I really am between, you know, the intellect and the ego, right? There's, there's this wisdom to know the difference between when I am driven by my ego, or is this really what God wants for me? And that to me is the wisdom to know the difference is this God's.
Or is this my will? That's a big one. Oh man. Is that a [00:20:00] big one? You know, oftentimes, and it's one of the steps step 11 says, sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God praying only for knowledge of God's will for us, and the power to carry that out.
And it's that last. Praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out. That could be like, that is why it takes 10 other steps to get to step 11, because praying only for knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry that out can get really confusing if I'm still very much inundated with self will.
So how would I know the difference between my will and God's will? And that's to me where discernment comes in the wisdom to know the difference between my will and God's. . This boggles my mind, but it's so true. I'm oftentimes praying for knowledge of God's will for me. Like, please help me, tell me what I'm doing here.
Why do I exist? Why is this moment like it is what is happening? And one of [00:21:00] the things I've learned is that God's will is often what's happening, right? . Like oftentimes I want this like great revelation of like, what will the next six months bring? Or what will my life be in five years? And the fact is, I don't get to know.
I don't, I don't get to know. And that really pisses me off like, like no other. I want fortune telling abilities. But the reality is God's will is what's happening right now. And oftentimes, I'm so discontent by. because oftentimes the present moment is pretty simple. The simplicity of the present moment.
Is oftentimes not the drama-filled chaos that is just like delicious and tasty to me. Like oftentimes I can thrive in chaos because that means I get to do something and I love when I get to do something. But the reality is the simplicity of the present moment is oftentimes what [00:22:00] God's will for me is, and it's having that wisdom to know the difference, the difference between my will and God's will that can be.
That's where the discernment comes in. One other place where I like to talk about discernment, if we're bringing this to a yoga practice, is I often talk to people about the wisdom to know the difference when it comes to sensations in the pose. One of the reasons I practice yoga, one of the reasons I talk often with students about, you know, what a yoga practice can do for us is that yoga helps us come into contact with the present moment, which as I said, can be a real.
and there are a couple of things that help us gain access to the present moment. One of those present moment access points is our breath. Our breath only ever happens in the moment. Breath never happens in the past. Breath never happens in the future. Breath only happens right now. So breath is an access to the present moment.
Another access to [00:23:00] the present moment is sensation. feeling things in our physical body. I can tell you when I first came to yoga, I had a real resistance to feeling things, not just emotions, everything. And that's the thing is when we block out some things, we block out everything. If I block out pain and sadness and anger, because I label those as negative emotions, I'm also actually dulling happiness and joy and any other.
Things that I might deem as positive, right? So there really is no such thing as positive and negative emotion. There is just emotion, and emotion is information. Emotion tells me what's happening for me in the present moment, feelings aren't facts. Emotions are not facts. Emotions are data. And oftentimes where I can get, you know, lose that discernment is when I'm making definitive decisions.
for myself based on [00:24:00] my emotions. Emotions can tell me something in the moment. Anger can be an excellent emotion to tell me when a boundary has been crossed. Right, like if I get angry by something somebody said or did, oftentimes that might indicate to me that a boundary has been crossed, but that doesn't mean that I get to yell or scream or sue them or, or behave in a way that is crazy because this person made me angry or crossed a boundary.
What that does is it gives me information that I need to reassert my boundaries, or I need to come up with a new strategy with how I'm gonna be with this person or in this situation. It doesn't mean that I get to act like an asshole. That's discernment, right? The wisdom to know the difference is this my emotion and what is this emotion telling me about the present moment and what do I need to do to bring myself back to homeostasis so that I could then make a decision with how I want to be?
And that to me is discernment. So [00:25:00] anyway, going back to emotions and yoga and feeling things, when we block out some things, we block out everything. . So when I first came to yoga, I had very little ability to feel anything except pain. You know, when we would take half pigeon that, you know, it's, it's interesting, I disagree with much colloquial yoga teacher isms and knowledge.
One of the things that I don't particularly agree with is this idea that we store emotions in our hips. I just, I think, I think that that's a weird thing to say. It doesn't make sense to. . And, and also like physiologically, there's no data for that, that we store emotions in our hips. But here's what I do think.
I think that when we feel strong sensations that we interpret as pain, which is what would happen to me in half pigeon, is I would have these strong sensations, which I would interpret as pain. That pain would get my. Really active. Like all of a sudden my, my [00:26:00] hips were in pain, which would get me aggravated and then kind of aggressive in my thinking.
And I would be like, fuck this, fuck that. I hate that. I hate this. Why are, why are we doing this? Why is this happening so long? Why is this pose taking so long? Why are we still here? And it would just get me really aggressive in my thinking. So I think that it's really more likely that when we. Strong sensations in our body, it could get our minds active.
So it's not that we store emotions in our hips, cuz I could tell you another thing that could take me through the roof is if I have to hold my arms over my head for too long, let's say a, a teacher puts me in a warrior pose and they start chit chatting or telling a story and now my arms have been lifted for a good two to three minutes.
That is enough to take me into straight rage, right? It's not that I store emotions in my arms, it's that that sensation that I'm feeling is triggering thinking, volatile thinking. So I think that the idea that we [00:27:00] store emotions in our body is accurate. We certainly store emotions in our body. 100% of my experiences happen through my body.
but I don't think that particular body parts store those emotions. I think that that is rooted in no reality and, and frankly no science. And so, you know, when I'm in a pose that is bringing up really strong physical sensations, oftentimes that gets my mind spinning. Or let's say I came to the class in pain and something that is happening in the class is exerting.
Pressure or intensity on that pain, that's generally enough to get my mind thinking. So where was I going with this? With discernment. One of the things that I often say to students is when we're getting into a practice, we are learning to discern. , the difference between the pain that helps and the pain that hurts.
And I don't even really like to use the word [00:28:00] pain in that way, but it kind of just colloquially makes sense. So for instance, you know the difference between when there's a shooting electrical sensation in your joints and when there's a deep stretch in the belly of the muscle. Ooh, that hurts. But it feels good.
You know, that sensation of something being stretched out and it hurts, but it feels good. Like, you know, that it's being stretched, but that it's a good thing. You know, that feeling compared to the difference of like, oh my gosh, my knees are on fire. Or there's like electricity being shot into my joints.
That is pain that is going to hurt you. Right? So, and I feel like the same thing could happen with emotions. y you know, for instance, going through a breakup can be really, really fucking painful, like deeply painful. Like I think one of the worst hurts on the planet could be a breakup. or losing a friend or losing somebody that you loved that is either doesn't wanna be friends with you or something else [00:29:00] happens, right?
Like God forbid you know, death and all of the things that happen that can create excruciating pain. But, you know, one of the things about a breakup is that sometimes that breakup is necessary. that you break up with somebody. And really on the other side of that breakup is freedom, but it's getting through that excruciating pain that could take a while before you actually get to the other side of freedom.
And I feel like the yoga pose can be a metaphor for that. Like we feel things in our body that could really be excruciating in the moment, but we know that it's the kind of pain that liberation lives on the other. That if I continue to stretch out these really, really tight hips, I might be able to do other things someday that give me more mobility, more access, more freedom to my body.
So, you know, when I first started practicing yoga, I was so stiff and so tight in so many areas of my body, and over the course of time, slowly opening up those areas of [00:30:00] my body, things started to shift. And a major freedom did come eventually, but at the time it was excruciatingly painful. And what it did to my mind in those moments could be really.
Like, I remember being in a half pigeon pose and maybe we were there for a minute, like 10 breaths or something, and by the end of that minute I was raging in my head. It could have been about how dumb I thought the yoga teacher was or something that happened earlier in the day that maybe got me thinking because I'm in pain.
And that pain can bring up crazy thinking, you know? Extended periods of chronic pain. You know, ask somebody who's in chronic pain, like what it does to their mental, emotional life. You know, pain creates depression. If you're in chronic pain all the time, chances are that's gonna have a really deeply detrimental effect on your mind as well, because we do store things in our body, but all over our body, [00:31:00] it's not segmented into hips.
Like, your body doesn't know that you are angry, and so it's gonna like put it in your hips. Like that doesn't make sense. Like, really think about it. It doesn't make sense. The the emotions are stored all over our body. You know? Have you ever stubbed your toe? I mean, come on, you've stubbed your toe. That shit could send me into a rage.
because of my toe. Does that mean that anger is stored in my toe and sadness is stored in my hips? No. That does not mean that. That makes no sense. Emotions can be stored all over our body, and oftentimes those emotions can be released with strong sensation. So I stub my toe and I immediately go to anger.
It doesn't mean anger lives in my toe. It means that's how I react to pain and oftentimes, , that's that anger that I experience. Like have you ever like got been in pain and then like [00:32:00] it turned into like a cry or a whimper because maybe I was angry and it needed to come out. But then really on the other side of that anger was sadness.
So sometimes it takes like a physical sensation to sort of evoke some of that. that emotion and so wisdom to know the difference, wisdom to know the difference between sensations that help and sensations that hurt, and sometimes really powerful. painful sensations could actually be really liberating over the course of time and it's really helpful, but also some sensations are not good and, and it's developing that internal sense of is this helping me or is this hurting me?
And that takes time. Like there was a time. when, you know, I was early practicing yoga that I was putting myself into like, let's say I was contorting my body, not, it wasn't yoga in the sense that I was breathing and I was like [00:33:00] aware and intentional and, you know doing it on purpose. I was just doing what the teacher told me to do and it was actually an inappropriate movement for my body, which I am now paying for.
I don't know about you, but I have experienced injuries that actually took a long time to develop and it was years after that I actually like suffered for, for me it was a frozen shoulder. I had a frozen shoulder. I've been dealing with this frozen shoulder for the last two or three years, and it was probably the result of things that I did two or three years before that that eventually created this bound up encapsulitis in my shoulder.
That eventually prevented me from doing a lot of things. So now, When I practice yoga, I have to practice great discernment. Like is it a shoulder day that we can do this thing or do we need to just keep it really simple today? And there was a time where I did not have that discernment. If the yoga teacher said, do this thing, I would do that thing even at great risk to my own body, and that is not discernment.[00:34:00]
And so over the course of time, I have built a practice of discernment where I have this wisdom to know the difference. Is this a yoga pose that I need to put my body in today, or do I need to take a yoga pose that will create more ease? in my body, and, and those are things that I did not show up to the practice with.
It took time and wisdom to develop that skill. It also took repetition. You know, sometimes it, it took hurting myself to learn like, oh, we're not gonna do that. Or If my body feels this certain tingliness in my shoulder, we're gonna take it easy. That. and I really believe that that wisdom to know the difference applies across different areas of our life.
Once we learn to discern in one area, we can learn to discern in other areas of our life, and that's why I think yoga is an awesome practice. For me, what I love about yoga is that the practice itself, is much deeper than just the poses. Like the poses [00:35:00] are a vehicle, an access point to the present moment, but I don't really think the pose itself matters.
Like does it matter that your knee is stacked over your ankle? Does liberation come from your knee being over your ankle? No. To me, the liberation comes from knowing where I need to place my body in space and in time in order to feel that present moment sense where I am here, I am breathing, I am alive.
I am right here in this physical space, taking up space, and it has nothing to do with where my knee is. And that to me is what the practice has given me, is it's given me access to the present moment, and that is priceless. Like that is something I couldn't put a price. that is something that, you know, whatever the cost of a drop-in is for a drop in yoga class like this exceeds that.
Like this is the ability to experience myself in reality. And that is something that took time [00:36:00] and that is a practice that I had to keep showing up for hurting myself, taking it easy, hurting, whatever it is, you know, like that wisdom to know the difference is a culmination of experiences and being willing.
To learn from those experiences because God knows I could still be in a position where I was contorting my body and doing things that didn't feel good, but not having that wisdom to know the difference. So, That's what I think. Those are my thoughts on wisdom to know the difference. That really it's a practice of discernment, discriminative discernment, as it says in the yoga sutras, and that it's really an ancient practice, that the practice of discernment is as old as time.
that there is a certain knowledge that arises from experience and you know, many of us can go through experiences and not learn, but then there are those of us who will learn from our experiences and we learn the wisdom to know the [00:37:00] difference, accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
and if I'm applying that to every situation, right, except the things I cannot change, I cannot change, you know, what my body looks like, what my body can and can't do on a certain day, who the yoga teacher is, whether the yoga teacher knows how to teach to all bodies or all abilities or all sizes and all of that.
I can't control any of those things. Courage to change the things I can. I can control what I do with my body in. How I conduct myself. Oh, yoga teacher says to do that thing. I don't do that thing. Why? Because my shoulder is feeling weird today. And I'm the one who knows my body best. The wisdom to know the difference is knowing how to act on that information.
I have this information, what am I gonna do with it? And that to me is the wisdom, to know the difference. And we can apply that through all different areas of our life, whether it's our [00:38:00] physical body, our emotional body, our mental body, our spiritual. the wisdom to know the difference, the pain that hurts, the pain that helps.
There is some pain that will help me on the other side of liberation, there is some pain. This needs to stop right now and, and really only I'm the one that knows that. So I hope that you heard something today that helps. If you find this podcast valuable, if you find what I'm offering valuable, if you could please share it with somebody.
If you could leave a comment on Apple Podcasts, that would be incredible. YouTube comments are also helpful, but sharing it and commenting on it is really what you could do to help me today. If you wanna give Carrie a little gift today, share it or comment. , five star reviews. Please love that. Anyway, really appreciate you listening.
I really hope that you got something out of this. Let me [00:39:00] know what you think in the comments. If you like having a series where I break something down over the course of time, this was my first three-part series, the Serenity Prayer, except the things I cannot change. That was a few episodes ago.
Courage to Change the Things I Can Again a few episodes ago. And then this one is the Wisdom to know the difference. And again, that's the Serenity Prayer. So I really hope that you heard something that helps. Now, with that being said, let's take it to the mat.[00:40:00]
So today we're gonna do a brief yoga practice that will help evoke some sensations, and we get to decide what it is that we want to do with those sensations. So let's begin simply with an easy seat. Cross your knees. Place one foot in front of the other. Put your hands on your knees and start by taking a few shoulder lifts.
Lift your shoulders up and then drop your shoulders down and make that a little bit dramatic. Lift your shoulders up to your ears, build up some tension, and then drop that tension. So lift the shoulders up and drop the shoulders down. Take a few more of those. A few more of those.
Now, drop your chin to your chest. Notice the sensation in this simple motion, just bringing your chin to your chest.[00:41:00]
And roll your head over to the right.
Roll your head over to the left. Take a few more neck rolls. Rolling from side to.
Wisdom to know the difference between the pain that hurts, the pain that helps, not just the pain but the sensation. When something feels good or something does not feel good,
it's not just pain, it's all sensation.
Now start to move your torso in some circles begin to move in some big circles. I like to bring in the imagery of a bowl and a spatula. Imagine that you are the spatula, scraping the [00:42:00] edges of a big bowl.
I like to close my eyes. If that feels good to you, then you have. Full invitation to close your eyes. Now, wisdom to know the difference. When will it feel good to move into the other direction? You get to decide that. Decide when it's time to move into the other direction, or if you're feeling a sensation in one particular area that feels good and you want to linger there a little bit, you get to decide what that looks.
And then slowly come up to a neutral seat. We'll take a few seated cat [00:43:00] cows. Put your hands on your knees. Lift your chest forward, lift your chin forward,
round your back. Tuck your chin to your chest. Do that again. Scoop the center of your chest.
Round your upper back, tuck your chin to your chest. Take a few more like that.
Move with your breath.
And then come back to a neutral seat. Straighten your right leg. Pull your left foot to the inside of your thigh, turn and face your [00:44:00] right foot, and then slowly slide your hands down your leg. wisdom to know the difference. Decide if you wanna reach your foot, or if you just wanna stop somewhere by your shin or your ankle.
You get to decide what the sensation is and how deeply you go into that sensation. Wisdom to know the difference is this sensation that is helping, and how much help do I want this sensation to create in the. Just because the sensation is intense doesn't always mean that it's a good intensity. I think that in our culture, we have a tendency to confuse intensity with love or with other good things when really maybe we just need to back off.
Notice what you. and where you're feeling it.[00:45:00]
Take a breath in
And slowly sit up. We'll take the other side, straighten your left leg, and pull your right foot in, turn and face your left foot, and then slide your hands down your leg and you get to decide where you stop. Maybe you stop right around your calf or maybe you go a little bit further and reach for the.
It might feel good to close your eyes. Notice what you feel and where you're feeling it.[00:46:00]
Slowly come back up. Well take a pose called fire logs pose. Try this, put your left shin in front of you. Reach for your right ankle and stack it on top of your left knee. Now, for you it might look something like this. Your knee might be high up and that is okay. It doesn't have to be stacked like mine. I have more open hips cuz I've been practicing for a while, and so I'm able to stack my knees like this, like fire logs.
If your leg is up here, that's okay. Now notice how this feels in your. and ask yourself, do I need a little [00:47:00] more or do I need a little less? If you need a little less, try putting your fingertips behind you and leaning away from the pose. If you want a little bit more, try putting your fingertips in front of you and leaning into the pose.
And this is a moment where we get to have the wisdom to know the difference. Do I need more sensation or do I need less Sens?
notice what you feel and where you're feeling it.
Stay present to it.
Slowly come back up and we'll take the other side this time. Straighten your legs. And pull your right shin in front of you. Stack your left ankle on top of your right knee. Now again, there might be a big gap there, or you might be able to stack your shins. Doesn't say anything about you. Do you need less sensation?
Then lean away. If you want a little more sensation than lean in, you could even just slightly lean your chest forward. [00:49:00] Notice what feels good to. and give yourself permission to do that thing.
You don't have to put yourself into a pose that you're not ready for, and that is a metaphor for life. That's why I love this practice. It's a metaphor for living. How I am in the pose is how I am in the world.
and that means something to me.[00:50:00]
Slowly come back up,
straighten your legs, and pat your thighs into the mat. Just break up the sensation and we'll finish this practice with a short Savasana. So make your way to your back. Come to lie down.
Slide your shoulder blades underneath you. Allow your feet to fall heavy. Rest your arms by your sides, and if it's comfortable to you, close your eyes.
Give yourself permission
I won't be here for long. Just long enough to receive the priceless gift of Serenity.
Just a couple moments of silence.[00:52:00]
Take a long, full, deep breath.
And slowly empty it out.[00:53:00]
Make gentle movements with your fingers and toes. Circle your ankles and wrists. You take a full body stretch from front to back.
Pull your knees to your chest, and if it's comfortable to you, roll over to your favorite.
And then make your gentle way up to a seat.
Bring your palms to touch at the center of your chest. Take a moment, notice how you feel.
You don't have to call it anything or name it. Just notice.[00:54:00]
Bring your palms to touch. Bring your thumbs to touch at the center of your forehead. Bow your head forward,
In honor of you and. me and this practice we share. I bow to you and say namaste..
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Luminous Recovery Yoga Podcast. I hope you heard something today that helps, and I look forward to seeing you next time. Take care.[00:55:00]
Thank you for listening to the Luminous Recovery Yoga Podcast. If you'd like to support the show, please consider joining my Patreon or leaving a comment and review. If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, Or YouTube.