I‘ve been teaching a weekly meditation class for a number of years, and the tale folks tell is a common one: “This is the only time I stop and breathe all week,” or “I need to do this more often." I usually ask them why they don’t, especially when it is so easy to do. Five minutes. That’s all one needs.
Is it because the hours, minutes, days feel squeezed so tight? Because we forget about ourselves amidst the swirl of things we need to get done? We get used to sacrificing, used to stress, used to being overwhelmed, used to frustration, and used to the swirl…and so we create more of it for ourselves. You might be thinking, “I try to do the exact opposite! But the pressures and expectations keep coming my way.” When these things come our way, how do we respond? By being frustrated? By putting pressures on ourselves and others? With expectations of ourselves and others? By amplifying the very things we're trying to escape, right?
What if we did the opposite? What if when responsibilities increase, we respond by feeling freer? What if when frustrations mount, we respond with contentment? Just imagine that option as possible. I’m not saying we shirk our responsibilities; rather, we adjust our responses to our responsibilities.
How do we make this seemingly impossible thing happen? Well, meditation can help. We forget sometimes the purpose of meditation is not to calm the mind, nor is it relaxation (though these things happen through the practice). Rather, meditation is intentionally seeing ourselves from a distance and noticing the patterns of our own minds: how we instinctively react to thoughts, to events, and to life. From that place of distance we can begin to understand what is and is not working and create some space between what occurs in life our reactions to these things.
Because, as Thoreau realized, what matters is not what we look at, but what we see....and, I might add, how we respond to both.
Making Meditation a Part of Life
If you would like to get intentional about a meditation practice, there are tools available to get started. You are welcome to join in my free virtual weekly meditation every Friday at 2:00pm CDT by requesting the link here. I also have different meditation techniques available on my YouTube channel here. As well, I recommend the Insight Timer app, which has thousands of free guided meditations.
To help, consider creating a space in your home that encourages daily meditation. Peruse ideas for that space through the "Meditation Tools" link.
Let’s Talk Yoga Mats
I primarily teach hot yoga right now, which means yoga mat type is especially important to students. A mat that works great for room-temperature yoga often ends up becoming a slip-n-slide halfway through a hot yoga class. At home—in regular temps—I practice on a Manduka Pro (an excellent mat). But my beloved Manduka mat just doesn’t perform as I need it to when I’m sweating buckets. So I searched around for the perfect hot yoga mat surface, and found it. You can check three of these mats out at the button below. As a bonus, they also work great during non-heated yoga.
Yoga Classes on Tap
Upcoming Special Events:
9/11, 9am: Intro to the Chakras
9/22, 6:30pm: Fall Equinox Yoga on Mt. Nebo
10/30, 9am: Rocky Horror Yoga
Upcoming Music Monday Classes:
9/13 Bruce Springsteen
9/27 Best of MTV Unplugged
10/4 Elton John
10/11 Imagine Dragons
Full teaching schedule available here: