January is such a flash in the span of a year. A signal of new beginnings, it is also a time of “back to reality” after the holiday season. People start planning for the next twelve months, dealing with taxes from the previous year and basically looking forward and backward in time without savoring what is happening right now. And then, suddenly – it’s January 31.
Where did the time go?
This is what today’s Ultimate Yogi Practice – Mountain Pose/Pranyama/Meditation was all about for me … staying present.
The Mountain Pose series is about thirty minutes of standing, coordinated arm and breath movements. It’s basically a standing meditation, very qigong/tai chi like. I always have to let go of the “I’m about to get a workout” attitude before approaching a practice like this. That is not what this is about. It’s about fusing breath, movement, focus and awareness. Highly beneficial for a kooky multi-tasker like me. It took me about twenty minutes of mental list writing, internal dialog, mental chatter and monkey mind to reconcile this and once I did, the “whoa – zen” set in. This is really good stuff.
And I want to be wherever they filmed this! Gorgeously captured in a meditation garden outside of a pagoda-like structure (I’m assuming that is what this is), you can’t help but be whisked away to this stunning locale in your mind.
Pranayama and Meditation are actually very advanced practices if you approach yoga from a traditional angle. But, The Ultimate Yogi aims to integrate these practices into every yogi’s life. Ambitious, yes. But, highly beneficial. Beginners will benefit from the early introduction to learning to sit still and being present.
A tip from me?
Be sure to blow your nose before this one!
The Pranayama practice consists of “Breath of Fire” and “Alternate Nostril Breathing,” so take time to clear your nasal passages before hitting the mat.
The four part meditation series is a blissful, calming, affirming practice.
I experienced some tightness in my chest during this practice today, a physical manifestation of my resistance to sitting still. By the fourth round of alternate nostril breathing I was very “there,” until Travis started counting in Spanish.
The language change threw me for a loop and kind of took me out of the zone.
Oh, well – I know for next time. And for me – this is one of the lessons of breath work and meditation. To just NOTICE these things, instead of letting them affect me so deeply. And, ah yes, the parallel to my life … to not let the little things (or the big things for that matter) pierce me so intensely. I am a feeler. Learning to control my emotions, or at least recognize the impermanence of them is another of my lessons as I walk this earth this time around.
Gentle practice – intense changes.
Gotta get to life stuff now. Work, smoothie … and some fun today! Little road trip for a friend's wine tasting (really – just a taste) and acoustic show.
Today’s Smoothie: (use organic fruits and veggies when possible!)
Makes 2 servings
2 cups water
1 – pear
1 – apple
1 – cup berries (cherry, pomegranate, blackberry mix)
3 – cups raw spinach
1 – head romaine lettuce
1 – cup kale
1 - lemon
2 tbsp golden flax seed
3 tbsp Nutiva Hemp Protein
Vitamix and Serve!
(image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kleenex-small-box.jpg)