Here’s a great way to start out 2015 from DoYouYoga.com:
Category Archives: Spirituality
Meditation sans the religion
I just finished Dan Harris’ book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works. It’s an excellent read for anyone who is interested in how powerful meditation can be and how you can do it without becoming a monk or a swami.
Guided Meditation: Unplug from Your Thoughts | Yoga International
A Beginner’s Guide to Pranayama
Breathing is at the heart of yoga and pranayama from YogaJournal.com:
Yoga Accomplishments and Challanges
Since I started practicing yoga over two years ago I have seen many improvement in my practice:
- My Downward-Facing Dog has greatly improved; my heels are closer to the floor. Even better: Heather, my Vinyasa teacher tells me my Down Dog is one of the postures she has noticed that has significantly improved.
- My Easy pose is much better. Specifically my back is not as rounded while sitting, though I still need a cushion or a blanket to sit on. This is something I notice all the time because, before I attended physical therapy and yoga, I was not aware that I had this problem.
- Forward Fold. When I started yoga I could not even get my finger tips to touch the floor. Now my fingers touch in the beginning of a practice and most of my hands are touching by the end of each practice.
- Tree pose. I still cannot balance on one foot, but I am getting better!
- Other postures. I am sure I have improved on nearly all my postures, but the above are the ones I and my teachers have noticed the most as improving.
I am very lazy and almost never practice at home. This is a big problem in my practice. I read somewhere that for the most part, the postures you hate the most are the ones you should working on often. There’s some truth to this for me; I don’t like these postures because I either cannot do them/do them very well or they are uncomfortable. Here are the postures I want to practice at home, and some of them I do not like to strike:
- Tree pose. Yes I have improved on this one, but I am still far from holding the posture for more than a few seconds.
- Boat pose. I hate it and cannot hold it for very long, nor can I balance the posture very well.
- Hero pose and advanced modifications: I’m too fat to feel comfortable doing this, but I can do it. I feel for my fellow students who have to stand on their knees when the rest of us are in the posture. Reclining Hero pose I cannot do and would like to; also Hero pose with my toes facing forward–stretching my soles of my feet under the pressure of my body (Sorry I don’t know the name, but I call it Torture!).
Finally, not a Hatha Yoga posture, but Meditation. I have started on this and I hope to continue.
Five of the hardest things yoga taught me
Here are Five of the hardest things yoga taught me from Yoganonymous.com. I haven’t really learned them yet, bit I am working on it.
Guided Mindfulness Meditation for Vata Season
This morning was the first day I started a daily morning meditation regime. I have attempted to meditate without guidance and in an irregular manner since the time I rejuvenated this blog last summer. A yoga teacher who grew up in a family that meditated regularly told me not to be discouraged and to start with a modest goal and work your way up: “It’s like lifting weights, if you want to lift 200 pounds start with 100 and work your way up.”
I have many different sources to help me: I subscribe to Tara Brach’s podcast as well as have copies of her guided meditations from her book Radical Acceptance, some other podcasts that may have guided meditations, iPhone apps like Headspace, Be Fearless, and Simply Being.
However, this morning I chose to start with Omvanti, which features optional background music. I hope that this won’t be another failed attempt at self improvement. I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.
I hope to post exciting news of my progress (That’s better! ). In the meantime here is an interesting article from Yoganonymous.com about mindfulness meditation–the type of meditation that appeals to me the most, and appears to be the most difficult type of meditation.
My father is dying and I can’t help but wonder how he feels about it. Part of the reason for wondering is the fear of not being. I’m supposed to be a Christian so I should feel warm and cozy about that prospect, but I do not.
This is an interesting article on dying written by a doctor who deals with this subject too often.