Often the difficulty we have in trying to meditate is when we are attempting to concentrate on not concentrating on anything at all. It’s a conundrum that leads us in circles. It can be especially frustrating when it’s our restless “monkey mind” that we are trying to relax in the first place.
Thankfully, sometimes in life things can be a lot simpler than we think. And meditation is one of those things.
Calming the monkey mind
As Tibetan Buddhist master Mingyur Rinpoche explains, instead of trying hard to focus on getting rid of all your mental chatter, all you have to do is to give your monkey mind one simple job…focus on breathing:
What’s equally as helpful to know is that you don’t have to be in sacred spaces or attend any special classes to meditate. You can meditate just about anytime, anywhere, for as little time as you want.
So take a breath, and relax, even for a few moments if that’s all you can spare. It can really provide some rest to your mind that it so very well needs and deserves, and in turn improve your overall happiness.
I recently read an article where a New York Times writer remarks on how yoga typically gives her anxiety because she wonders how long she has to stay in position before she can check her twitter feed. It occurred to me that she’s exactly the type of person that would reap some of yoga’s greatest benefits.
One side bonus of practicing yoga is being away from all external demands, all distractions, all social media. Sure, many of us rely on staying as connected as possible for our work. But if we’re not dealing with a life and death situation, it would help us a great deal if we allow ourselves to unplug for at least Continue reading →
Did you know that relaxation response techniques can greatly reduce health care costs? According to recent a study by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, regular practice of yoga and meditation can reduce the need for health care services by 43%.
It has been said that “you are as young as your spine is flexible”. I believe there is a lot of truth to that. In yoga, the Cobra pose, also known as Bhujangasana, can help keep your spine youthful and flexible.
There are other numerous, wonderful benefits of the Cobra pose. It can help your digestive tract by stimulating your digestive organs. It helps to open up your chest, improving your breathing.
The Cobra pose also will help tone and firm the muscles in your upper arms, your chest your abdomen and buttocks. Performing the Cobra is also Continue reading →
Have you ever tried meditation with your pet? Taking a few minutes a day to sit quietly with them may not only improve your practice and its rewards, but it may also help calm energetic pets.
Choosing to meditate with your pet can also give you extra motivation if you seem to have difficulty getting yourself to sit still. Animals have a natural way of living in the moment. And it’s a great way to spend quality time bonding with your furry friend.
Let us know if you’ve benefited from meditation with your pet!
For this mini-lesson we will pay attention to The Complete Breath Standing. The room should be well ventilated and quiet. Soft, gentle music playing in the background is okay.
It is strongly advised to never practice on a full stomach. Please wait at least 90 minutes after having eaten a full meal. And always be sure to check with your physician to make sure these exercises are okay for you.
Complete Breath Standing
Let us now begin. Standing with feet together, slowly raise your arms while simultaneously inhaling and lifting your heels to stand on your toes. If you have trouble standing on your toes you may keep your heels down. Continue the inhalation, and raise your arms until your hands touch overhead. Hold to the count of five.
Slowly exhale as you lower your arms and rest on the soles of your feet. Continue a deep exhalation until your abdomen is contracted entirely. Allow yourself Continue reading →
Namaste. Back to school, back to work, back to eating healthier, back to the gym, back to yoga. So you got away from it all. But perhaps you got a little further away than you had planned. No need to worry. Every day is a new day to embrace and start fresh.
Pick it up and put it down
As with many things, sometimes the hardest part is just getting started, or in this case restarted. Often, all it takes is Continue reading →
People often ask us “what’s a good yoga mat for hot yoga?”. There are a number of options, and much of “what is good” depends on personal preferences. But the main thing you want to look for is a mat that has a good grip when wet (or you could use a yoga mat towel over an all purpose mat).
There are indeed mats that are made especially for hot yoga. We recently tried out the Combo Mat by Yoga Design Lab and it really fits the bill. Even better, Yoga Design Lab is a company that prides itself on “blending fashion-forward design elements with innovative functionality and bio-renewable consciousness.”
Yoga by design
First off, the company has definitely earned the right to have “design” in its name, as the mats themselves are quite aesthetically pleasing. These are some of the most Continue reading →
Yoga with felines is “cat”ching on! By now we’ve all seen the cute pics and viral videos from around the globe of cats jumping in on our downward dogs. Perhaps kitties are trying to remind us that they are just as good for our soul as yoga is!
With so many cats in need of good homes, it’s an important reminder indeed. In an effort to Continue reading →