Category Archives: Meditation
September is National Yoga Month, so expect lots of random yoga-related musings this month!
Today I thought I would talk about themes in relation to planning and teaching classes. Often when I plan a class, my theme focuses on one or more parts of the body (I’m a rather practical person, so such a practical themes come easily for m). For the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve focused on concepts like gratitude and kindness.
My inspiration for the kindness classes was, of all things, a post on the site scarymommy.com. I tweaked the author’s daily question to her children, “Who were you kind to?” to “How were you kind today?” and asked students to meditate on that question while in a pose (yin and restorative yoga both lend themselves well to this with their long holds).
In some of my classes, I also used a version of the metta mediation. You can learn more about metta meditation here. The version of the meditation that I used in class is below: the first round is directed at bringing lovingkindness to ourselves; the next round is directed at some we feel needs lovingkindess directed to them; and the last round is directed to all the earth.
May I be free from suffering.
May I be well.
May I be at peace.
May I be joyful.
May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be free from suffering.
May you be well.
May you be at peace.
May you be joyful.
May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be at peace.
May all beings be joyful.
May all beings be filled with lovingkindness.
Thanks for reading!
June 19th is World Sauntering Day — a day meant to remind us to slow down and enjoy life. Getting out and walking in nature is an especially effective way to find peace, solitude, and beauty. The following meditation from Mike George’s 1001 Meditations can be useful today.
Walk on the calm side. When your brain feels foggy and confused, taking a ten minute walk in quiet surroundings will clear your head. As you walk, make a conscious effort to breathe deeply, inhaling for two steps and exhaling for two steps in order to regulate your breathing pattern. With each out-breath imagine that the clouds in your mind are gradually clearing. At the end of your walk, take three deep breaths, and gently share your head to clear any remaining mental fog.
Today is Weed Your Garden Day — a day to remove unwanted weeds from your garden. What defines a weed is really a matter of perspective. Any plant that is in an unwanted place is viewed as a weed and, therefore, as something negative.
But how often do we take time to notice the beauty and resilience of what we think of as a “weed”? The next time you look at a plant and are quick to label it a weed, pause for a moment and consider it from a different perspective. Does it have a lovely flower? An interesting texture? A strong fragrance? See if you can find something to appreciate about it. Plants, as with most of what we encounter in our lives, are not good or evil but simply exist.
Peace and love,
The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day, a day to get out and enjoy the beauty and calming effects of nature. You can turn your hike into a meditation, focusing on each step or the breath to stay in the present. Whatever you do, find a little time to get outside today.
May is National Meditation Month. Here’s a lovely one from Mike George’s 1001 Meditations.
Open to love. Imagine yourself as a flowerbud, head bowed, petals tightly furled. Gradually you become pleasantly aware of a warm tingle as the morning sun strikes the base of your petals. You lift your head and loosen your petals a little. As the sunlight gets warmer, you feel encouraged to open further until your exquisite petals, delicate hues and intoxicating scent are revealed in all their glory. In the same way, allow the warmth of love to open your heart, allowing its full beauty to be revealed.
May 3rd is National Garden Meditation Day. Whether you have a favorite garden spot, favorite plant, or even a photograph of a beautiful garden, it is a great day to take in the natural beauty of the world and fully see what’s around you.
Take a few moments today and sit quietly in nature. If a guided meditation helps, here is a lovely one from Mike George’s 1001 Meditations: How to Discover Peace of Mind.
Garden of the Mind. Visualize yourself in a garden. The overgrown foliage of discontent blocks out the light and the weeds of worry choke the path. Armed with a fork and pruning shears you begin digging up the weeds and cutting back the shrubs. Penetrating deeper into the garden, you discover features previously unknown to you – a well of love and a fountain of creativity. Having cleared the soil you plant the seeds of joy and laughter. Each day you tend your plants, watching as your flowers of contentment come into bloom.
Peace and joy,
Thank You Thursday was inspired by motivational speaker Jon Gordon. It is meant to be a day to practice thankfulness for people in your life and expressing gratitude to others. Whenever you think about it today, take a moment to pause and think about the things in life you are grateful for and ways that you can make someone else’s day brighter, even with just a smile.
Thank you for reading,
On this beautiful Earth Day, I enjoyed a workshop with the wonderful Alie McManus. During our closing meditation, part of what we focused on was planting a seed for what we want to grow. Today is a perfect day to plant a seed for our future, both literally and metaphorically.
Take a moment today and imagine what you would most like to see happen in your life, in your world. Incorporate it into your meditation. Live like it is already a reality. See what happens.
With love and light,
While February was National Haiku Writing Month, April 17 is haiku writing day. After being shocked to learn that 5-7-5 does not make a haiku a haiku, I thought I would try again at one of the other meters. I make no claims to have any poetic talent but I’m intrigued by this form.
Enjoy your day!
One of the simplest forms of breath control is belly breath, more accurately called deep diaphragmatic breath. I often work with diaphragmatic breathing with new students before we move on to the more involved three-part breath.
Introduction to Diaphragmatic Breath
- Come to any seated or reclined position with a straight spine
- Close your eyes. Relax your face and body, and breathe naturally through your nose.
- Place your one hand or both hands on your low abdomen, a few inches below your belly button.
- Begin to focus your awareness on your breath as it moves in and out of your body through your nose.
- On your next breath, begin to lengthen your inhale to a three-count as you feel the natural lift of your belly into your hands.
- On your exhalation, relax your abdominal muscles and feel the belly drop away from your hands.
- Continue for three to five rounds before allowing your breath to fall back into its natural rhythms.
As you become more comfortable, you can gradually begin to lengthen both the inhales and exhales to a 10-count as long breath feels smooth and comfortable. You can also gradually extend the practice to around five minutes or longer. If, at any time, you begin to feel light-headed or anxious, discontinue the session.