The world is a beautiful place, and the vibrant colors of the fall season point out God’s glory every which way we look. We cannot help but feel energized by the transformation before us. As change is contemplative, we cannot help but come full circle to feelings of gratitude for our place here, and now. Hopefully what comes along with that is a sense of responsibility. Keep renewing yourself by getting outin nature! Savor the sights, the flavors, the air and the opportunities. Do your practice outside whether it is yoga asana, meditation (sitting or walking), pranayama in the fresh air, and/or journaling amidst the swirling colors. Seek to understand and to accept, and be surprised at what may happen, “the way that opens.” My contemplative question this season is not “what shall we practice,” or “how shall we practice “(the teacher in me, planning for my students), but why do we practice? I encourage you to look at the bigger picture: go wide and then go deep. My answer is that we practice to strengthen body, mind and spirit, to do our duty, to live our dharma, but most importantly to really live! What a gift, to have a lifetime on this earth. Amidst the man-made madness around us, I practice yoga with its three pillars (self study, discipline and devotion to God) intentionally to seek inner peace. The centering effect is not just grounding and energizing, but deepens my faith and improves my outlook. It would be a shame, to float by all the glory, to miss the opportunities to explore and connect, to learn and to serve. “I encourage you to go out and see everything with a fresh new set of eyes,” as Parker Palmer says. Why do you practice? Share with me and with your classmates. Everyone who answers will be included in a drawing for a LifeFit giveaway: a yoga bag!
Getting to the Heart of Meditation
Many people come to the practice of meditation, to affect the habits of the mind, anticipating that it is something to do with the logical thinking mind. The notion is to sit, to be still, and to learn how to quiet the racing mind which seems to be the sign of the times, constantly increasing and getting out of hand the more we allow ourselves to be over-stimulated. These are misunderstood notions. There are many forms of meditation and they share the ideal of the practice: to tame the wandering habits of the mind, thus cultivating the capacity to not be consumed by this part of our human nature.
We are not trying to disembody our head but to realize that the mind is tricky! First of all, when meditation is new, it is very hard to sit still (the back gets tired, we notice too many things and begin to fidget). Therefore it is suggested that you have a supported meditation practice or even a walking meditation practice, depending onyour nature. And if we can bring our focus to our feeling body, then the intuitive wisdom of the heart and gut will guide us with what should be the one-pointed focus of our meditation. No matter if we choose it to be some aspect of our breath, a mantra, a mudra, a pranayama, a sound, a prayer, an aromatherapy, the habit of continuing to come back to that one-pointed focus, no matter how many times the mind wanders, will help you through the rest of the day when you cannot focus because of the many directions of oscillating thoughts.
Another idea is to drop out of your thinking mind and into your heart center, your feeling body. Sit with whatever is there. This one pointed focus will help you with acceptance and overcoming obstacles based on just that. We can never “think” our way into such forward steps, but we can feel, from the heart, the center of our intuition, where, what and how are the right ways for us. What are you waiting for? Meditation is a powerful way to find“your way.”
Add aromatherapy and the effect is exponential, depending on what you seek, a sense of clarity (Peppermint and orange), grounding (tree oils), emotional lift (floral oils), happiness (citrus oils), or spiritual direction (anointing oils like frankincense and myrrh). See more at the blog at www.essentialyogapractice.com
It's Our Birthday
It’s our Birthday!! Essential Yoga Practice is about to be a year old - help us celebrate! Subscribe to our weekly blog at www.essentialyogapractice.com, follow us on social media: Face Book, Instagram, Twitter and soon to be a flourishing Pinterest. As we engage our audience, we hope you Comment, Share, Tag and ReTweet to be entered in our giveaways. Have’nt bought your copy yet…. Kindle version will be on sale on our birthday, October 26! Thank you friends, for your support! Love, peace, yoga and aromatherapy happiness to you!
Yesterday is only a dream,
and tomorrow is only a vision:
But today well lived, makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness, and every tomorrow
A vison of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn. – Sanskrit Proverb
The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. ― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World