“When we take time to quiet ourselves, we can all sense that our lives could be lived with greater compassion and greater wakefulness.” Jack Kornfield
Meditation and mindfulness is spoken of everywhere now. There are multiple studies being conducted on its effects in the corporate world, education, the health care system and the military. Technology is and can be a wonderful tool to communicate world wide and get things done faster. However, it can also lead to higher stress, heavier workloads and disconnection. Meditation and mindfulness offers a tool for living in the present moment. In turn, lowering stress levels and increasing awareness and compassion for self and others.
I invite you to join me and my yoga students on this 28 day journey. I will post a meditation/mindfulness practice each week. We will start with 10 minutes of meditation. I invite you to journal the effects and experiences of your meditation practice. You are welcome to post comments in order to create a community of support.
How? It is ideal to pick a particular time of day but if that does not work for you, choose a time that will. Turn off phones and set a timer for 10 minutes. You can sit or lay down if necessary. Sit on a comfortable seat, either in a chair or on the floor. I encourage you to sit with support under your buttocks to elevate the hips higher than the knees. This posture invites the spine to rest in its natural curves and allows the body to be open for optimal breath space. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes or let the gaze release down, keeping your head in a neutral position with your ears balanced above your shoulders. Notice sounds, then bring your awareness to sensations of your body and the parts of the body that are in contact with your chair or the floor. Then bring your awareness to your breath, not changing the breath.
First Week Theme: “Simply” watch the breath. I say simply as it is not really simple. You will find that your mind wanders and many thoughts often arise. That is okay and normal. Let your thoughts become like clouds passing by in the bright blue vastness of the mind, not becoming attached or getting carried away by them. Keep coming back to the breath and the sensations of the breath at the tip of the nose and inside the body. You could notice the temperature, the texture or maybe the length of the breath. That’s it!
I invite you to notice how this practice begins to affect the rest of your day and your interactions with others. I noticed how my meditation practice allowed me to respond instead of react to my son’s behavior which helped him to calm down more quickly. I also noticed a decrease in my anxiety levels as well.
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Tagged anxiety, breath awareness, community, contemplative time, depression, gentle yoga, health, healthy-living, immune system, listening to your body, little inspiration, meditation, mental-health, mindfulness, Multiple Sclerosis, Real Yoga for MS, self-care, stress, transformation, yoga
The start of a new year offers a time to reflect on what is working for you and what is not; what thoughts and actions are leading you to your best self. The beginning of a new year opens the door to possibilities. My yoga practice deepens my life experiences and fosters a life lived intentionally. Yoga offers me the tools with which to look inside to discover who I am and my purpose in life. Many use yoga as a form of exercise to tone, stretch and strengthen their body. If this is what you are looking for, you will find it. Yoga can offer so much more as well. A consistent yoga practice can offer relief from physical and mental pain and lead one to potential inner happiness. Maybe you set New Years’ Resolutions every year and find that by the end of the first month you have forgotten about them or thrown in the towel, seeing the “resolutions” as unattainable. I invite you instead to open yourself to the possibilities of what this new year can bring you with small but meaningful changes by giving yoga a try. Yoga is not just for the flexible, (which actually, I’m not naturally flexible). If you can breathe, you can do yoga. Real Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis DVD was created to reach those with MS. However, anyone can benefit from the yoga practices on this DVD. We are offering free shipping and handling for the month of January 2014. Check out this sneak preview of our DVD.
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Tagged change, contemplative time, gentle yoga, happiness, health, healthy-living, hope, intention, life's purpose, listening to your body, little inspiration, mental-health, MS yoga, New Years' Resolutions, partner yoga, possibilities, Real Yoga for MS, self-care, stress, transformation, yoga
Last week I came down with a cold and was not sleeping well. I fortunately still had energy to go about my days however, every day I was sure to tune into what my body was calling for and Viparita Karani was it. This pose can be modified with legs over a chair especially if you are new to yoga or on blood pressure medicine. You never want to do this pose if you have detached retina.
This pose restores my energy and, supported by a bolster under the hips, becomes a restorative backbend. Viparita Karani helps boost your immune system by reversing the flow of lymph, which is why this pose is so good when you are feeling under the weather. Also, the pressure on the back of the head calms the nervous system. It is recommended that you only stay for 10-20 minutes.
Our bodies have a wisdom to share if we tune in and listen we will know how to best support our health.