The following article was published on oregonsportsnews.com on 3 June 2013.
There’s a saying in yoga that “the pose begins when you want to leave it.”
As a yogi, I’m supposed to be patient in order to achieve the ultimate benefits of my practice. Conversely, “supposed to” isn’t in the yogic dictionary and what can I say? I’m flawed.
Patience is something I’ve been working on for years, but what I believe is more necessary for yoga practice and can help in numerous facets of day to day life is meditation.
Life can be hard. People can suck. Sometimes, the two can merge so conveniently that you may just want to call it a day and flee to a jungle island in Thailand.
Maybe that’s not really an option, but the truth is, we all have struggles and we all need a way to decompress.
While meditation may sound like a daunting practice to some, it can take on many different forms, immediately showing positive and powerful effects on the body and mind.
Guided, silent meditation is one of the forms I practice. I began silently meditating at the same time I started my asana practice. I decided to focus my practice by recognizing abundance in my life and by practicing compassion. I meditated on these words by Deepak Chopra: the more you give, the more you receive.
This had a profound impact on my day to day. I was a full-time kindergarten teacher living abroad, applying for graduate school, and studying for the GRE. I exercised every morning, attended yoga class nightly, and kept up with an active social life. I was extremely busy, productive, but most of all, I was happy.
Meditation proved to me that life can be beautiful. People can be amazing. Sometimes, the two can merge so elegantly that you want to love the world and everything in it, rather than focusing on its flaws.
Sounds nice, right? So how does one reach such Zen?
I mentioned that silent meditation is not the only kind of meditation. I’m taking the liberty here of calling anything that calms and clears your mind “meditation.” Running is one of my favorite forms, as is practicing yoga with music.
Whether you find calm through cardio, weight lifting, playing sports, or sitting silently, discover your meditation and use it to your advantage. It’s a tool to improve your life – both inside and out – which you will never regret.
Om shanti and namaste.
Ready to get started? Check out these events in the Portland area:
Portland’s Living Yoga is a non-profit which brings the practice of yoga and meditation to “prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and populations that would otherwise not have it” (http://living-yoga.org).
Living Yoga’s annual Yogathon has asked new and seasoned yogis alike to fundraise through their own practice to benefit their community. The event began in April, but you can still join in on their closing celebration on Saturday, June 1st at Ecotrust in the Pearl (living-yoga.org).
Not quite ready to make the leap into yoga this weekend? Think ahead to July 13th when the annual Yoga Rocks the Park comes to Portland. Every Saturday until September 14th, Laurelhurst Park will be filled with music, world renowned yoga teachers, yoga for kids, demos, vendors, and a great community to let go and feel a bit more shanti with. Tickets can be bought in advance from yogarocksthepark.com or at the door.