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Meditation 1.0

Preface: As part of my yoga studies, I have begun a meditation home practice which I will also be journaling.  This will be more of a personal journal for me but I thought I’d share the experience from my first session.  I’m just jotting down my initial thoughts but hopefully it will begin to flow better with practice.

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This morning I chose to begin my meditation practice amongst much chitta (mind consciousness/thoughts) & vritti (fluctuations of the mind).  Opted to experiment with meditation instead of asana to help cleanse my mind.  Used music (2 instrumentals from LOST) to help my mind focus and relax.  Total meditation time: About 10 minutes.  Amidst all the internal noise and chatter, I was able to clear my mind and enjoy the moment.  Closed my eyes and felt my breathing become slower and deeper, listened to the birds chirping outside, and thought of happy memories.  Although unplanned, the 2nd song has a slow build-up to a climatic end.  I felt my arms raise up my sides, hands in earth mudra.  Brought my hands in front of my chest into anjali mudra and as the song ended, I raised my arms up overhead, shoulder width apart, opened my eyes, looked up, and as one teacher always says in class, “Look up at all you hold in this world.”  Then as my meditation went into “radio silence”, I brought my hands back down together in front of my chest, bowed forward, and whispered a silent, “Namaste”.

Meditation Practice: SUCCESS!

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Jai Namaste!

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In Mayan culture, In Lak’ech basically means “I am another you,” and Ala K’in means, “And you are another me.” It is my understanding that this phrase can either be said together (as shown in my title) or separately as a reply to one another.  So if we met and I said “In Lak’ech“, you would reply back, “Ala K’in.”

I was reminded of this lesson during a meditation practice taught to us during satsung.  During meditation we would say a mantra in honor of different people in our lives.  If I remember correctly, we honored ourselves, a significant other, family member, close friend, acquantance, someone we’re not getting along with, people, and finally the world.  We would think of that person, say the mantra, take a few deep breaths, and then repeat for the next person.

Doing this exercise helped me to remember that no matter how different we human beings may be, we are much more alike than we sometimes care to admit.  We all feel the same emotions: happiness, sadness, sorrow, determination, excitement, surprise, fear, etc.  We all want to feel support, friendship, family… love.  While every human being may be different, we are all looking for the same things, just in our own way.

Although they are in different languages, I find In Lak’ech Ala K’in and Namaste to be very complimentary phrases to each other.   To me, Namaste means honoring the divinity and uniqueness in another person, to honor their “Self”.  Yet while honoring thier individuality, In Lak’ech Ala K’in is a reminder than we are also ONE.  There will never be another Self just like you and yet, I am another you.  We are uniquely the same.  We are similarily different.   A brain teaser no doubt but an interesting notion nonetheless.

Current themes in my blog have been happiness, peace, understanding, Self, and love.  It has been interesting to watch these concepts continually weave into one another as my yoga journey progresses.  There are times I’ve felt so profoundly alone and yet other moments surrounded by love and friendship.  It is a journey that continually empowers while still humbling me.   I find solace in knowing that every person in my life is another me, and I another them. 

I think this knowledge will greatly benefit me as I continue to live my yoga and live my truth as best as I can.   I bow to the divinity in you knowing I also bow to the divinity in me.  We are one.  In Lak’ech Ala K’in.

Namaste.

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Have you ever noticed how ideas seem to pop up when you least expect them?  As I was stepping out of the shower today a very cool yoga idea was born!  And no, it had nothing to do with the shower… Lol!   Lately, I’ve been trying to expand my yoga both on and off the mat.  And while I love going to my yoga classes, I also know that asana practice is only one of many aspects of yoga.  But in our Western society where asana IS “yoga”, how do we learn everything else?   Now let me stop here for a second to say that I definitely think asana’s are a major part of my yoga practice.   I do not  doubt the benefits and personal growth we gain through asana practice.  But all I’m merely wondering is how do we also learn and benefit just as much from pranayama, medititation, ayurveda, etc?  These aspects seem to have become the “home study” portion of yoga.  

In my own personal practice, I have experienced feelings of inadequecy and lacking when I was told, and not too kindly, how incomplete and shallow my yoga practice was because it was focused solely on attending class (ie. asana practice).  It is an opinion I still disagree with strongly yet I have to admit bothered me for a very long time.  While this is definitely a topic for another discussion I just would like to say that I see nothing wrong in trusting your instructor(s) to guide you through your journey and discovery of yoga.  If you enjoy the pace in which your learning, great! And if you feel the need to also further your learning in your own time, that’s great too!  Neither answer is ever wrong and your journey should be dictated by the pace you feel comfortable with regardless how fast or slow that may be.  Enjoy and appreciate, there is no finish line.

Back to what I say saying before, how do we create a more well rounded approach to our yoga practice?  While I love learning and doing asana poses with fellow yogis, I would also like to learn about other yoga aspects together as well!   Have discussions, brainstorm, inspire, motivate, cheer, learn, etc with my fellow like-minded yogi’s!  Wouldn’t that sound fun and exciting?  Imagine how much more exponentially quicker our yoga practice could grow if we did it together?  Wouldn’t that be worth exploring and working towards?

Picture this:

  • Creating a yoga community/club.
  • Meet fellow like-minded yogi’s outside of our normal circle.
  • Weekly/monthly get togethers (at the beach, parks, hikes, dinners, etc) to learn and/or practice asana’s, pranayama, meditation, etc.
  • No formal “teachers”, we all learn from each other.  Share our knowledge freely w/ each other.  Perhaps take turns teaching the group something new.
  • Create an online group where we can create create our own community, have discussions, forums, share pictures and stories, etc.

The idea still needs further thought and refinement but I definitely think it’s worth pursuing.  Anyway, I was pretty excited by it so just wanted to share it with you and see  what kind of reaction, thoughts, or ideas you might have?  Sound like something you might want to be involved with?  I think this is definitely something that will be on my mind and brainstorming whenever I get the chance!

Look forward to hearing your thoughts also!  Thanks in advance!

Namaste.

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