The setting was this: a 1930s log cabin with 30 foot ceilings overlooking an enormous stone fireplace, overstuffed plush furniture and bright handmade tapestries, an abundance of trees that rained down autumn leaves with every breath, and the constant whisper of rain.
Heat is transformative. Capable of changing everything in the blink of an eye, fire is ultimately a neutral element detached from any desired outcome or expectation. Fire consumes because to burn is fire’s dharma.
Happy New Year! Have you made your resolutions and set your goals? More importantly, what do your resolutions and goals “feel” like? Do they feel like mountains ahead of you? What is the energy of your resolutions and goals? Heavy? Weighted?
Recently, while leading a meditation workshop, I was asked if meditation and mindfulness were “basically the same thing?” The quick answer is no, they aren’t; however, I believe this topic deserves some attention. Consider that mindfulness is a broader stroke and meditation is a type of mindfulness.
Ahh, the holidays. Or shall I say the “hellidays” as that’s what I called the holidays for MANY YEARS. Fraught with expectation, traveling, overconsumption, overindulgence, and spreading myself way too thin, I came to resent and dread the holidays.
You are likely familiar with making a gratitude list as a means of counting your blessings and developing a grateful heart. However, you can also practice gratitude through asana, prayer, and meditation.
Most of us are forging ahead at lightning speed: going, doing, scrolling, talking, walking, racing to do all the “To-Dos” not only with our bodies, but also our minds. However, are you giving yourself time to rest and digest? You need time to digest not only the food you eat, but also experiences, conversations, and information you receive.
Gratitude is not just something that the world tells you to feel after the pumpkins are carved. It is an obligation to yourself, an obligation to respond to life around you. It is an answer to change, a bow to the beauty around you.
When autumn begins, and the rain and wind start moving the world around, I often feel like I’m being blown around, too. Grounding myself is the most helpful and healing action I’ve found that keeps me, here, breathing, here. With every pose, the one constant is that some part of me needs to touch the ground.
I am usually great at protecting my heart. I do it in daily life by hiding and traveling inward. It is easier to thicken my layers than it is to slough them off. However, when I go to yoga class, when I practice yoga on my own, when I talk about yoga with others, my heart does this little leap and tells me I’ve got this
I often say to apprehensive yoga students, “if you can breathe, you can do yoga.” And it’s true. I have taken classes that were 60 minutes of different breathwork all in the same seated position. And if you think that sounds easy, try it. It is the most challenging act to focus internally for so long.
Mantras are a practice of rooting yourself in chants, words, or phrases with the intention of transformation. By repeating your mantra, conscious thoughts dissolve and access to your deepest self becomes possible as you enter a state of meditation.