Meditation Monday #39 – Training

Welcome to Monday afternoon! For many of you tomorrow is the big American holiday in which we celebrate our forefathers’ declaration of independence from a tyrant ruler. For others of us it is an excuse to get drunk and eat grilled food while ignoring the fact that you didn’t put on any sunscreen and are wearing a flag. Still, for others of us it is an opportunity for reflection on what it means to be an American. I plan to do some of that last one especially with all that has been in the news of late.

Since last week I have been working slowly through two trainings that are helping me with my meditation goals. The first is an Inclusivity Training offered by AIM Healthy U and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts. It is a yoga training to help me better discover the ways in which I have privilege, power, and bias in my teaching; and how to turn that into more inclusive yoga teaching. I’m a little more than halfway through the course and hope to do a full evaluation when I am finished, but one greatest things I’ve written down from this course is:

No matter how your body gets there; you’re still doing the yoga

I am also doing a Wellness Training in preparation for teaching this fall. I plan to write a lot more about that in the coming weeks. For this week I have set three action goals:

  • Do something active every day (I have successfully been active for 13 days straight including a run this morning)
  • Meditate 3x/week (I’ve been doing a lot of meditating and self reflection with these two courses)
  • Play a game or go for a bike ride with my kids at least once per week (we did a bike ride last week and I need to spend more time in play in my life)

All of this has fed into the work I did last week in the Meditations from the Mat book with Tapas and discipline. To create discipline is to create health the reading told me, but it also makes you feel like you’re going backwards. You mourn the things you lose during change, even if you want to lose them. Each of these three goals, by completing these two trainings, by just doing the yoga….I am creating a structure of health in my life. This, along with my slow food changes, are leading me to the point where I feel like I in the moment of allowing true self to emerge and burn brightly. I am leaving behind so much more than I could write about in one post.

Next week I hope to get back to writing about the How to Meditate series, but before then I ask you….

What are you changing in your life?

How are you creating discipline: health?

What will you never have again if not this life you once knew?

Meditation Monday #37 – How to Meditate: The 5 Kleshas

Ugh! What a weekend! I arrived home….to my house….around 4am and got the minimum 3 hours of sleep before my day started as usual. This is one trip that I’m not all that excited to write about. Instead I’ve decided to leave it in the past and move right back into Meditation Monday!

How is meditation going for you these days? Mine is a little strained. I started thinking about how hard meditation can be for some people. For some it’s the sitting still, for others the quiet, for yet others the being alone with their thoughts that gets them. If you read back to the first four posts on How to Meditate you learn a lot about how easy it can be to start small. But, what happens when we’ve been working at it for awhile and we can’t seem to find the answers we’re seeking?

In the last few segments of this series we’ve talked about the Four Aims of Life, but there’s something that can get in the way of understanding and living your path and that is a Klesha. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #37 – How to Meditate: The 5 Kleshas”

Meditation Monday #36 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Moksha)

It’s Monday again and it’s raining. Raining because it’s spring and spring flowers need rain. Raining because it’s April and April showers bring May flowers. Raining because it was very dry and my rain barrels were empty. Raining and spring bring about changes and I have a lot of them to write about…..but I’m saving that for later. Today I want to end our discussion on the Four Aims of Life. Previously I have written about duty, prosperity, and pleasure. Today we’re going to talk about Moksha: Freedom. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #36 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Moksha)”

Meditation Monday #35 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Kama)

It’s Easter Monday….for some of us…..and it’s always bittersweet in my mind. The joy of the holiday still resonates with me: time spent with my children, good food with family and friends, and beautiful weather. However, it’s over and now it’s back to daily life. Today was my son’s first day back from Spring Break and it didn’t go horribly, but not exactly smooth either. I believe the phrase, “I don’t HAVE to go to school” was uttered, but was quickly corrected.

Do you ever have something that you don’t want to do?

Well, that’s kind of our topic for today’s meditation: Kama = Pleasure. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #35 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Kama)”

Meditation Monday #34 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Artha)

The second Purushartha is a complicated one in yoga. The reason being that so many people believe that yogis are akin to St. Francis of Assisi….renouncing wealth, giving up all worldly possessions, and communing with nature. However, yoga doesn’t ask us to be martyrs nor saints. Instead, yoga says that we should aim for Artha or prosperity, abundance, and success in our lives.

But why?

Continue reading “Meditation Monday #34 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Artha)”

Meditation Monday #33 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Dharma)

Last week I started back up with the How to Meditate series on the blog. I’m giving you a little insight into the deeper content of Yoga that we cover in my Yoga II course at CFCC. So, for the next four weeks we’ll be talking about Purusharthas or the Four Aims of Life. Some will translate this Sanskrit word to mean the soul’s purpose or the goals of human existence….so we’re going to take them one by one in meditation as they hold so much weight.

How do you have a successful, satisfying, and balanced existence in this world?

Our first signpost on this path to human fulfillment is Aredharma (more commonly referred to as Dharma) or our DUTY in life. This element of our study also refers to our ethics, our truth, and our responsibilities in life. This ties in nicely with our third chakra and our power to choose and to stand up for what we believe in…..but that’s a discussion for another day. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #33 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Dharma)”

Meditation Monday #32 – How to Meditate: The Two Pillars of Yoga

Alternating periods of intense activity and rest is an important part of life, so it’s no surprise that this principle serves as the foundation of yoga itself.

This is the opening sentence to a 2007 Yoga Journal web article describing the two pillars of yoga: Abhyasa and Vairagya that I use with my Yoga II students. For the next few weeks I plan to focus our Meditation Monday posts on the topics I cover with them in regards to meditation. I have previously presented a series of 4 posts titled How to Meditate that covered some basic meditation techniques. Now I am expanding that for you with a deeper practice into meditation as well as my own insights on the topics at hand. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #32 – How to Meditate: The Two Pillars of Yoga”

Meditation Monday #31 – Finding Inspiration for Discipline Everywhere

Yesterday was National Plant a Flower Day….and although I couldn’t plant anything new because of the weather…this tulip persisted!

Happy Monday All! Today is a good one! I made some decisions last week regarding MY BEST BODY Happiness Project and all of the pieces are falling in line. I hope that you find the time to go back and read more about this project and enjoy the process this week and beyond.

Today I decided to get back on the Gate’s book and opened to Day 75 where he was covering Tapas. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #31 – Finding Inspiration for Discipline Everywhere”

Fave Reads Friday #8 – Spending Out

Found this sticky in the back of my library copy.

So, I’ve finally finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at what else I read, in terms of blogs, but hers has made it on to my WP Reader. I’m sold! I want more happiness in my life and I’ve started on my own HAPPINESS PROJECT: MY BEST BODY. More and more about that to come in the next few weeks. However, today, I want to talk about 3 things that are sticking with me (not totally unrelated to my own happiness project, but not directly either).

I have to be honest here…..I read the first half of the book feeling so inspired and aligned with the author. I mean, she’s a work from home mother of two who writes. However, I felt like a lot of the things she tackled in the first half of the book are things that I deal with already….tasks to make myself happier that I’ve already undertaken. So, I set the book down….unintentionally…..and when I came back I was ready to address the real work that would lead me to my own happiness project. Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #8 – Spending Out”

Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project

I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book this year. I haven’t quite finished it yet and that’s why you haven’t been privileged to a Fave Reads Friday post on the book yet. But, I thought that it was time for me to define my own Happiness Project. The book has been very inspiring in many ways and made me consider many aspects of my life and ways that I have chosen to live in regards to a yoga lifestyle. Yoga has helped me in my relationships, my professional career, my parenting, and with my mental and physical health. It’s help me define who I am and what I stand for. Now, after a weekend of teaching yoga, I have the ultimate goal of my own Happiness Project….MY BODY!

Continue reading “Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project”