In the beginning of my awakening journey-around 2010 I was 24 years old and ready for change. I had experienced heartbreak, unhealthy friendships and toxic relationships. I coped with marijuana and partying. I had disassociated from my body. I had pent up anger and resentment. I was violent. I gave zero fucks about how I treated others. I was selfish, jealous, and judgmental. Deep down I knew something had to give. Deep down I wanted honest, trustworthy people in my life. I wanted better.
I immersed myself in all things yoga practice after being advised by my personal trainer to go to a class. I had zero interest in meditation or even what that really was. I just knew at the end of class we got to lay down and I would pass out within minutes-snoring and all. This was actually what kept me coming back every day. The very end of class. That relief I felt after twisting myself up and working muscles in my body I had never before used. That "savasana" rest at the end was my jam. I melted every time. In a total of 1 hour and specifically the last 5 minutes my whole mindbody felt reset and I felt a sense of peace in my being that had been lost for years.
I am relieved to say I took that ticket to paradise I found with the practice and made it my life's obsession and purpose. Yoga and Meditation has gifted me the love of my life, my husband and our love produced our greatest joy -our son. Yoga has kept my other passion of massage therapy alive by keeping me mentally and physically strong and present enough to help others. The practice continues to pierce through every aspect of who I am. My ego, my world view, focus, parenting, daily choices -my next right action comes clear after I practice Yoga and Meditation.
Here is a list of a couple questions I reflected on in the past week that helped me better prepare what I plan to teach in our upcoming Yoga and Meditation Series.
What is your favorite way to meditate and why?:
C: My favorite way to meditate is ever changing. I cycle between mindfulness, breathwork, yoga movement, journaling, mantras and most recently singing and ceremony.
I also find solace in simplifying. I call it "puttering" which is me doing things slowly and without any rush. Those things include cleaning/organizing/beautifying my office and home, being in nature, bathing and other self care measures and making my medicinal teas and food. Unscheduled chunks of time is when I feel most inspired to write blogs (like this one!) and create new events, classes or services.
How has a meditation practice helped you?
C: All these mindfulness practices have helped me in ways to slow down and savor this moment. For much of my earlier years of I was taught to multitask, “taking care of business” was glorified. Always DOING errands, hosting, shopping but less in a because "I want to" way and more on a "I have to" way. When you’re dead you can rest is a phrase I heard half joking half serious growing up. This left me in a state of low grade anxiety and resentment. I was unable to finish tasks like put away laundry, I had no concept of patience. Fast and now was what I had become accustomed to. This left me prone to blow up reactions, accidents and mistakes. It is very apparent now why I wanted to check out every chance I could with weed. That is what temporarily slowed me down.
Unlearning that conditioning and being sober now I see more clearly the root of this uneasey. I had no awareness of the ever present NOW.
My tendency to overwork and lack of boundaries left me off balance. My upregulated nervous system and scattered energy was slowly shutting out what my heart needed. My health and life circumstance would be much different had I continued the path I was on before finding my yoga and meditation practices.
What does meditation look like for you now and what has it taught you?
C: My favorite way to meditate is lying down in bed in “zero g” which is a mode on our mattress where both your head and legs are at an elevated position so it feels like you are supported without the strain of gravity. I also love my black out eye pillow to cut the light and warm my eyes and a cozy blanket. I especially love when my husband and I meditate together. Our go-to teachers are Davidji, Eckhart Tolle and anyone with a good voice on Insight Timer-a meditation app. We both practice Reiki and send love and light to ourselves, the day, and any other person or situation that needs attention. One very simple meditation technique I do daily is audible breath. I constantly co-regulate with my massage clients in that way. A slowed inhale and a soft sighing exhale. Simple and effective! A moment of noticing the pause between the in and out breath is helpful when I feel rushed to be somewhere or in traffic, long line, etc.
The most profound thing meditation has taught me is that yes it feels good to be in upmost comfort when you sit or lay down to meditate but can you practice mindfulness while doing mundane things? Washing the dishes, folding clothes, driving. What about making love? Eating? Are you doing any or all of these while thinking of something else? Are you even enjoying your human experience? Can you artfully live your life in a state of Yoga? Which is briefly defined as the unification of all-mind body and soul. I am exploring more and more this and let me tell you-it has been a gamechanger!
What styles will we be covering in the series?
C: This is a breakdown what we will be exploring every week the final :30mins of my Wednesday classes. These meditation styles have helped inspire my spirituality journey and I feel so pleased to be able to share them with you:
Week 1: Guided Visualization: Inner child healing
Week 2: Love and Light (Reiki based)
Week 3: Mantra for Inner Peace
Week 4: Yoga nidra with soundBath
This is just a tip of the iceberg background story and example of all the things we plan to share with you in our upcoming series that begins next week-Monday July 17th! It will be the 2nd time JD and I offer this particular program which we keep refining and it is amazing! We cant wait to share! There are 3 spots left if you are local and looking for a community to thrive in. Here is the link to sign up: