Monthly Archives: May 2014

Zero tips for a better meditation practice

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This clever title is meant to imply that I struggle to maintain a meditation practice. It seems pleasant enough when I manage to do it, particularly when it’s on a regular basis. But I struggle. I miss days. I don’t always feel benefits right away. I think if I did, I would just do it without complaint, the same way I started going to millions of power vinyasa yoga classes – not out of some abstract sense of discipline, but because I felt great.
All kidding aside, here are some things that help me:
getting rid of judgement. I have plenty of thoughts. I do not always sit with a straight spine… I sit however is really, really comfortable for me. I sometimes open my eyes to look at my timer midway through! I can recognize that these things are not ideal, but if I expect to be prefect I will give up when I fall short.
keeping it to a relatively short time. Eight minutes is my max.
fitting it into my day. I sometimes have a 30-45 minute gap in my work schedule mid-afternoon, too late for lunch, and not really long enough to run an errand or whatever. Eight minutes of meditation is really nice here.
I’ve had yoga teachers and yogis highly recommend meditation or other forms of mindfulness throughout my life. In my experience there is a lot attached to this when it comes up in yoga. Having a therapist suggest it, in many forms including while walking, is what set me on my most recent kick.
Do you have a meditation practice? What has helped or inspired you?
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Job and Ego. Or Pride? And Shame?

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I am a dog walker. Sometimes people look down on dog walking as a job. Like it’s beneath them. Or beneath me, which I suppose is sort of intended as a compliment. I was once calling references for a new potential dog walker, and to, “What would the candidate find most challenging about this position?”, the man said, “You’d have to be mentally handicapped to find anything about dog walking challenging”.

What a charmer. And what a reference! (She got the job and was in fact fantastic).

People in the US like to talk about following your bliss and all that, but in reality this is a VERY status-conscious society. It’s hard to have a job that other people look down on. In a sense it helps to say or believe “I’m just doing this for now, of course I’m looking for something better” – but I don’t want to have to believe that. My whole life I’ve been looking for something better. I want to be satisfied and happy where I am right now, without feeling ashamed of it.

I am trying to realize that a person’s response to my job tells me a lot more about them than it does about me.

I have succeeded in earning a(n) (albeit minimal) living doing this job – which is actually difficult to do.

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Let Gravity Do The Work

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I’m not good at this. Why? Gravity isn’t good at this!

My teacher said this in a supine twist the other day. I like to hold/pull by knee towards the floor in this pose right before savasana. It’s not important to me to reach the floor, but it is important to me to feel a twist! Gravity isn’t giving me that feeling, in this pose, and when I don’t have my hand on my knee, I find my leg just kind of uncomfortably hovering. I wind up engaging some muscle just to avoid discomfort, and I think this is not the intention of the pose either. Putting a block under my knee would remove any possibility of a twist at all.

My mind in its extreme thinking also says, “If I let gravity do the work, I’d be a gigantic blob on the floor all day long!”

Finding moderation with life’s “gravity” is challenging for me. I HAVE TO push a bit. I have to make decisions and live my life. I can’t just wait for things to happen. How much is too much initiative from me? Push too much, and I wind up in situations that really weren’t meant to be, or which are basically set up to fail … they have only evolved thanks to my initiative, but not organically. And I believe the same thing on other topics, for other people – in relationships and even things like aid projects. Obviously finding a balance is important, but how do you know?

This is something I struggle with.

It’s time: yoga teacher training

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I haven’t blogged here for a while! Today I am making the deposit for a yoga teacher training program. The next natural step for Coffee n Yoga, of course!

I thought about making a long list of the reasons why it is the right decision. In some ways that helps me validate my own choice. But I’m not going to. Yoga has had a tremendous positive impact on my life, I’d like to share it with others (particularly underserved folks who couldn’t otherwise have access), and I have the skills to do it.

I will also just enjoy the training.