Hello beautiful human,
That’s the lesson I learned while in Iceland last week when I was taking part of a cold plunge experience. My cold plunge coach said, “It’s only sensation. You can sit with it. Don’t make it mean anything. Breathe through it.”
The cold plunge experience was part of my Drishti Journeys (www.drishtijourneys.com) Iceland yoga and adventure retreat. And I wasn’t sure I could go through with it because I’ve had a cold water trauma experience. Every time I get in cold water my body and mind return to the time I was a teenager having been knocked out of a raft while white water rafting the Skykomish river on a late-morning chilly May day. When the cold water had suctioned me under its chilly clutches, my mind was filled with the thought “this is how I’m going to die”. I was pulled out by the competent guide and spent the rest of the rafting trip shivering cold till my teeth rattled.
When I started submerging myself in the cold water of the plunge barrel my heart began to race into that familiar panic and I so wanted to leave the water. But my coach kept bringing me back to “it’s only sensation, breathe through it.” And I did it! I was able to stay in the 48-degree water for nearly 3 minutes. I was told 2 minutes gets you to receive the positive health benefits of the plunge, staying no longer than 15. By the time I left Iceland, I was able to sit in the cold water for a little longer than 6 minutes.
My takeaway ~ all I need to say to myself is “it’s only sensation and I can breathe through anything.” I can breathe through my impatience with the long, long customs lines at the airport. I can breathe through hurt feelings and see the beauty of the original relationship. I can breathe through being away from people I love, with whom I want to be closer, and know I will reconnect in the future, no need to force anything. And as I write all this I realize I’ve been saying the exact same thing for years… when teaching yoga. “You can breathe through this experience of this pose you're in, know that nothing last forever. There's some type of benefit with being with and moving through all things.”
When you next experience discomfort whether in a yoga pose, a difficult confrontation or discussion, a long line, or a loud stranger who is annoying you. Remind yourself by saying internally, “It’s only sensation, I don’t have to make it mean anything.” Then see what’s on the other side.
Read on to see other offerings ❤️
With love and joy,