Good morning, and happy January 2nd…
We are on to Day 2 of this new year and my new yoga adventure. Did you try Day 1?
Did you do it right? Me either!
And do you know why we didn’t “do it right?” Because there is no such thing in my yoga. The whole concept of doing poses and postures the right way is in complete conflict to my idea of what a yoga practice is all about, and I refuse to allow you to worry with it while we practice together.
Our practice will be a place of non-judgment, and the determination of whether or not a thing is right or wrong is by definition a judgement. Perfect, correct, and right are all wrong.
The only other thing that is wrong in our practice is pain. If it hurts, don’t do it. If it stretches and challenges you, stay there, but when it hurts – truly causes pain – back off from that edge and give yourself time and patience and grace to enjoy where you are right now. This moment matters most.
This is where I insert the standard disclaimer for CYA purposes…I am not a doctor, I am not an expert, I have been a certified yoga instructor for less than 1 month. If you have medical questions, consult a doctor. If you have a yoga question, let’s find an answer together. I am a friend who loves exploring yoga and who finds beautiful benefits from my yoga practice. I share it with you in hopes that you, too, will find peace and love within your own yoga practice.
Now back to the good stuff.
How did your Sukhasana go yesterday? Easy Pose is not quite as easy as one might imagine. I had to restart my 5 minute timer 3 times before I made it through to the pretty little chime at the end.
The first time I started my timer, I did not even make it to a seated position. It was really, really, REALLY chilly outside where I had set up my mat, so I made a quick location change and added my uncle’s awesome and portable fire pit to my space:
The second time I started my timer, I made it to a seated position, and I was just almost settled when our dog started a barking frenzy with every other dog on the block. I hopped up, took her inside, and luckily, the third time was a charm.
Throughout my five minutes of meditation, my mind wandered. A lot. And that is okay. Author Dan Harris describes this perfectly in his Preface of 10% Happier, one of the books I mentioned yesterday:
While my attention span is slightly better than that of a six-month-old yellow Lab, I definitely struggle to quiet my mind. I can spend an entire night restlessly thinking about all the things I need to do tomorrow, what I did not get finished today, and what I will do first and next and after that. At times, my thought process feels like a pinball shooting around all the walls of my mind, causing light bursts and ping-y noises that rival an arcade. Sitting still and being quiet for 5 minutes is not an easy pose for me.
But I have found that the result of those 5 minutes is worth the effort. Again, Harris explains far better than I am able:
Aside from my difficulty in stopping the ever-present flow of thoughts in my head, I was also resistant to trying mediation because it felt a little silly, even hokey, and a bit “out there” for me. For the third time, Harris says it best:
Please, learn from my mistakes. Put your preconceived notions aside, do not worry about looking silly or being hokey, and if you did not do it with me yesterday, give Sukhasana a try today. In fact, allow yourself those 5 minutes of silence and stillness every single day. And when those 5 minutes become 8 and then 10 and then 20, enjoy every second!
The next pose in our year of “follow me” is Urdhva Vrikshasana. In English, you will hear this as many different poses: Upward Salute, Tree Pose, and/or Extended Mountain:
With feel balanced and rooted to the mat, inhale deeply and raise arms and gaze to the sky. Think about lifting your body rather than sinking into your feet. Enjoy the lengthening stretch from feet to hands, the opening of your chest and heart, and the sun’s warmth on your face.
For today’s scripture, read with me Proverbs 14:12.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Moral of the story? Worry not about being right nor about your poses being correct. Instead, embrace where and who you are today.
With love and hugs,