• Becky Morrissey

Interoception and Social Connection: From the Lens of the Yamas & Niyamas

Sangha Of One's October Studies focus upon understanding interoception, sometimes called the 6th sense of human consciousness.

How might this sense support an aspiration to be in the world from a lens of harmonic living? The Yamas and Niyamas are often seen as practices of creating external harmony (Yamas) and inner harmony within the self (Niyamas).

This month, contemplations will present and suggest themselves as we explore the possibilities of interoception. Such as:

Could the Yamas & Niyamas be a practice of awareness, of co-creation, with experiencing social connection?

Could the Yamas and Niyamas be a practice of developing our lens of interoception?

Perhaps the Yamas and Niyamas are an ancient conceptualization of social interoception as a practice of living.

Supporting Concepts:

Yamas: practices for contributing to harmony with and within the external world. Non-violence (ahimsa), Truth (Satya), Non-stealing (Asteya), Moderation (Brahmacharya), Letting Go (Aparigraha) are common translations of the practices of the Yamas. What other translations resonate with your thinking in creating external harmony?

Niyamas: practices for developing and evolving harmony within ourselves. Saucha (simplicity), Samtosha (contentment), Tapas (illuminative power of inspiration), Swadhaya (introspective study), and Ishwara Pranidhana (wholehearted consciousness).

Interoception: body-based awareness and sensing. Often thought of as a "bottom-up" process, meaning information is "felt" in the body before realized or known as a thinking or thought concept. "Natural Breathing", simply breathing without changing anything, is often thought as a "bottom-up" practice that we can observe the body doing. Kapalabhati, with a specific procedural technic applied, would be an example of a "top-down" practice or process.

Social Interoception: our inner sensing informs our social interactions; reactivity, feelings, and behaviors.

How do we know more about the intersection between interoception and social connection? How does exploring and co-creating with our own interoception influence our abilities within social connection?

Check out this paper for some of the latest research:

Interoception and Social Connection

Arnold, Winkielman, & Dobkins (2019)

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