Sunday, November 27, 2011

This Is Hard To Admit

It's so clear out today.  Sunshine makes the chill not so bad.  Yoga Dog and I went exploring this morning and found some new nooks to imagine what lived inside. I'm so grateful for our morning walks together.  Because I am not a morning person, even though for the past decade I've had to be, I do not hesitate when he wakes me up with the tapping of his toenails on the wood floor.  His need to go to the bathroom pulls me right out of bed without a thought to ignore him.

This is what meditation is supposed to be like.  It is supposed to be automatic, a call to worship, a call to honor and commune with the millions of others waking at dawn to connect to the universe.  It has been awhile since I did my daily meditation practice.  This is hard to admit for me.  For six years I woke up early and enjoyed the silence, the connection to the Om of the world, and a deep connection to God that I felt.  I wondered why everyone did not do this simple practice in the morning.  The hardest part was rolling out of bed, but once I sat cross-legged in front of Guruji's picture, Swamiji's, Shiva and Grandma Irene, I felt like I had walked straight into a family group hug.  I also added in a little ritual I garnered from the Native American sweat lodge ceremonies I had been to.  I added a hand wave around the candle in lieu of walking around the sacred fire.  As I circled the flame I gave away anything I was holding onto that was not serving me and into that void, I thought deeply about what I wanted to invite in that day.  It could have been love, patience, gratefulness, etc.  I enjoyed this moment in my day when I could remind myself what I wanted to think about during the day.  I used to say that I could tell the difference if I didn't meditate and when I did.  If I was running late and skipped meditation then I was impatient with my students and found myself unhappier throughout the day.  So how did this happen that I lost my meditation practice?  I am embarrassed because I teach that meditation is important and I have seen it transform my friends into living Saints.  So how did I lose my way?  My routine was interrupted I suppose.  Life changed a little. 

And yet, here I am early in the morning, after walking the dog.  I feel good that we had some nice winter breaths outside, some exercise and now it is time to begin again.  Here I go, before the hunger pangs arrive and I start my day.  Before the dust on the furniture pulls me into a chore.  Before I remember how many things are on my To do list, I will sit on my meditation cushion and see what happens.

Om Shanti.

Yoga Girl

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Busy Months

And how are you coping with the busy days of winter?

My week is filled with running, running, running.  Drama club auditions this week, breaking hearts for some and boosting confidence in others, while also producing the upcoming show A Dickens Christmas.  Working on sound today for Cricket on the Hearth part of A Dickens Christmas.  And the work week felt long.  It wasn't, but it felt it.

And so J and I took in a Yoga class yesterday at the Freehold Yoga Center.  Ahhhh.
It's been so long that I almost forgot how good it was to participate in a full 1 1/2 class with fifteen minutes of pranayama.  When I practice at home there are a few shortcuts that happen since I feel the need to make the class shorter.  And there's something about the energy in a room full of Hatha Yoga practitioners that makes me sink deeper into myself.  Maybe their energy helps me focus, or relax.  Or maybe it is being outside of the house in a space for a certain fixed amount of time that gives me permission to let go of my daily life rushing around.  Whatever it is, I'm grateful for it.

And this Thanksgiving, I will be thanking Sri Guruji, Swami Satchidananda and Swami Sivanada for the blessing of Yoga lessons they've passed down to me.

What is it you're doing to help you stay grounded and let go of the rush of this time of year?

And if you'd like to cozy up to a good story check out the new NOW Theatre Company website including the page on A Dickens Christmas.  The show's in 2 1/2 weeks in East Brunswick, NJ.

Much relaxation and Om to you,
Yoga Girl

Monday, November 7, 2011

Look Both Ways!

Is it just me, or are people walking across the street without looking for cars these days?  I'm driving in parking lots (where there are a lot of cars coming both ways) and people are looking straight ahead, or in the opposite direction of my car.  I understand that if I, the driver, lose concentration then I will be forever horrified by what I've done, have to live with that forever and might go to jail.  But the consequences for not being mindful when crossing the street could be a huge injury, paralysis or the loss of my physical being on this Earth so I would think that they would listen to their inner mother who says, "Look both ways before crossing the street." 

Trying to be very mindful/grateful of the little things--
my beautiful nephew is walking with some assistance, is talking up a storm, and beyond a whisper.  He's saying "I love you" to everyone several times a day.  Which is sweet, until you think too much about it and remember he has short term memory loss and doesn't remember he just said it.  Oh wait the grateful list, right-- he's leaving the hospital for home in a few days.  My sister will once again be able to be with both children at once and lead some kind of "normal" existence. 

Yoga Dog and his girlfriend at the dog park
I'm also grateful that Yoga Dog wasn't eaten by another dog at the dog park.  He wasn't even scratched when a seemingly sweet new rescued dog was playing with him when suddenly he had Yoga Dog's face in his death jaws.  Yoga Dog is so trusting, playful and engages everyone that he doesn't realize when he's being too friendly too soon.  It took many scary moments to pry the dog's teeth off Yoga Dog's snout.  But luckily all we found was a lot of slobber and no blood.  I think we're going to be more mindful of where to bring Yoga Dog since he is overly friendly. 

This Friday Guruji Rev. Jaganath is having a Satsang at Akasha and guess what the topic is going to be?  Gratefulness.  Ah, another chance to live in the happy zone of what is good instead of the worries and negatives.  I hope to see you there.

Let me know what your challenges are on the path to mindfulness/gratefulness. 

Om and prem,
Yoga Girl