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Just sit.

Now that we are all practicing responsible social distancing, I am finding plenty of time to write for the blog. It is pretty amazing how much time it takes to do all this social media stuff. I’ve been wanting to provide a library of essential yoga poses for awhile, with either photography or illustrations, that would include foundational alignment and directions of movement. There will be kernels of anatomy, philosophy and cues for you to play with in your home practice. Also, some real world “Why are we doing this pose or movement? information.  That should be coming online soon.

If you haven’t taken the time to sit and meditate yet today, I’m reproducing one of my meditation scripts below. You can read it, screenshot and print it, or just let it inspire you while you take a cushion and sit.

When I teach my meditation classes, I like to remind students that in order to sit and not let your mind drive you crazy, remember you are not your thoughts. You cannot stop thoughts from coming into your mind (the only time that happens is in death). You can however not engage with the thoughts. You can observe them, acknowledge them—no matter how chaotic, upsetting or random they are—embrace and release them and then return to whatever focus tool you have chosen to use. The breath, a mantra, a sankalpa, whatever….

I think the most important thing is not to have an expectation of how your meditation will be. Just sit for as long as you like and be in the experience. Enjoy!

  • You can either sit in silence or put on some soothing music or sounds that comfort you, like waves, but softly so you can just hear it.

  • Find your comfortable seat on a cushion, folded blanket or even a chair. If you are on a chair, be sure that your entire foot is on the floor. If the feet aren’t on the floor, lift the floor to you with yoga bricks or thick books. Thighbones are in line with the hip socket and feet are parallel.

  • Close the eyes and let the back of the hands land on the thighs and just rest where they land. Let the arm bones be heavy, shoulders moving away from the ears. Find your neutral spine, pelvis not tipping forward or back. Let yourself enter the room where you are sitting.

  • Attune yourself to the sounds of the room. There may be creaks, pings, sounds of other people or pets. Don’t anticipate the sounds, just hear them. Then let your other senses attune to the room. Do you smell anything? What is light like on the back of your eyelids? Can you feel air moving around you? What about the air you’re breathing in? Start to focus on the breath.

  • Sit in silence and observe.

  • Observe all the aspects of the breath. The depth, the frequency, the rhythm of the breath. Are you breathing evenly on both the in breath and the out breath? Is one direction of respiration louder than the other. Are you able to even it out in length and effort?

  • Sit in silence and observe.

  • Start to deepen the breath. Slowly….gently….patiently. Be kind with yourself. With the next exhale, let the breath become longer on exhalation. Begin to lengthen the exhale, first by one count, then two. Keep going until you’ve doubled the length of the exhale to the inhale. Don’t struggle or force the breath, be gentle.

  • Give your self the gift of soothing yourself. These extended exhalations allow us to turn on our off switch. We can calm and sooth our busy, overstimulated minds with this breath.

  • Sit in silence and observe.

  • Release the extended exhalation and come to discover your “new” normal breath. Whatever it is, allow it to be and just let the body breath.

  • Sit in silence and observe.

  • Close your meditation practice however you see fit. Chanting, ringing a bell, chin can drop to the chest, hands in prayer. Namasté.

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