At the end of February something happened…..I unintentionally stepped away from my blog….for the week. Then it was two weeks because of Spring Break. Then it was continuing until the middle of March when I finally got my act together and posted something. On the day that I posted, I also read this great post from Margaret at Young and Rungry. I wasn’t purposefully taking a blogging break like I had in the past, I just wanted to make sure I had time to write something of quality. Lots of times I feel rushed to get something written, so earlier this year I started planning posts and giving myself writing days. However, when the writing days got busy, the writing didn’t occur.
Today I will be spending some time writing and scheduling the posts of all of the topics I’ve been jotting down on scraps of paper here and there….all the things that have been important to me and that I want to tell you about in regards to yoga life and running. If you haven’t already, please click on my last post from Thursday and fill out the Runners’ Survey. My answers will come at the end of the month, but I’m interested in what everyone else is doing…..more about that tomorrow.
But on to today! Margaret’s post got me thinking about something I’ve recently been teaching my students at CFCC. Before Spring Break my Yoga I class learned about mudras (hand gestures) used to communicate something to ourselves and others and often used during meditation practices. One such mudra is the Dharmachakra Mudra which is best used when asking the questions: What comes next? What is the next step? How can I serve?
To some the answers are more of a religious nature and to others more of a financial, romantic, or career path. To me, sometimes it’s a chance to get the lists in my head in order and see the schedule of the day in a more logical way.
My Yoga II class has just started practicing Restorative Yoga, a format more or less created by Judith Lasater. It requires your body to be supported into poses and held for minutes upon minutes. It is a meditative practice in its own because your mind is opening like your body during 3, 5, 10, or more minute poses. Last Wednesday, during Reclined Bound Angle pose, I started to meditate on the idea of “What comes next?’ because I knew I wanted to post something for the blog on Think Out Loud Thursday and link up with Amanda. My thoughts were going very smoothly and then a flash of light came across my face and I felt like I was falling. I really was falling too, slightly off the right side of my bolster and blocks. It was like that jerk you feel somewhere between awake and asleep, but my mind had been so focused that I didn’t feel asleep at all.
I had asked each of the Yoga II students to create their own intentions for that day’s practice. Usually I give them something to focus on and have asked them to use the Dharmachakra Mudra before in practice. This practice was different though and I’m not sure what my experience meant. I do know that I will continue to ask myself the “why” questions in life as I have in the past. If you are struggling with a choice, a decision, understanding, acceptance, etc in life you may want to give this a try.
Sit in a comfortable position that you can spend at least 5 minutes in without fidgeting. Remove all distractions and do not set a timer. No music either and dim light tends to help you mellow out. Place your hands as shown in the picture below with the right hand facing in toward the heart. Choose your intention (the question you are going to ask, the situation you are going to ponder) prior to beginning. Then, close your eyes and breathe while repeating your intention. Examine the thoughts that come into your mind during this period. Let go of unproductive ideas…..the laundry list that doesn’t pertain to your intention. You can deal with those items later. Do not get frustrated at the appearance of other ideas, your mind is trying to focus in and sort through the clutter. Do not abandon your original intention for an idea that seems more appealing. Listen to your body and your mind and know that the answers are always right inside of you. Do not be afraid of crying or laughing or having any deep emotions during your meditation…..sometimes they’re there and other times they’re not. And when you feel ready, slowly bring your attention back to the room, open your eyes, and move forward.
Many times meditation brings a sense of calm and serene. Many times mediation brings clarity. Other times it can leave us feeling empty, sad, angry, lost, or confused. Why? Because it allows us to really examine something we might have been repressing, hiding, or holding back and not ready to deal with. Sometimes a topic needs to be revisited several times before it is “resolved” and some feelings are never fully resolved on this long path to enlightenment.