There is a concept in yoga called the witness that is our ability to step back from a situation – to not react but to pause, relax and breathe so that we can align a response from a deeper more intentional level. It is a handy yet challenging practice.
Here is an exercise from my book for accessing your witness. It only takes a few minutes.
A Body-Based Relaxation: Accessing the Witness
Benefits: Stress management, aid to meditation. A tool for developing insight.
Contraindications: If you are unable to lie on the floor, this exercise may be done in a bed or in any position in which you can fully relax.
Instructions: Lie down on the floor in a place where you will not be disturbed for the period of this exercise. Close your eyes, breathe, and relax. Take a few breaths just to soften into the floor.
Imagine yourself floating above your body, looking down at yourself. Invite yourself to view this body with ahimsa (compassion, non-violence), or as if this body belonged to a beloved sister, brother, or friend.
What would you wish for this beloved being’s process of self-care?
What feelings do you wish for this person to have about her caring for herself? How might these feelings change his or her life?
From your work with identifying barriers and triggers (previous exercises in Every Bite Is Divine), what would you say to this beloved being’s work on that particular issue?
Bring awareness back into your physical body, stretch gently, and journal on any insights that came from this experience.
This excerpt is from Every Bite Is Divine: The balanced approach to enjoying eating, feeling healthy and happy, and getting to a weight that’s natural for you by Annie B. Kay MS, RD, RYT, and can be found in chapter four, on pg 71-2.