Monday, August 10, 2015

Meditation Monday, Tadasana and how this is all going to work!

So I have a new little thing planned for you. I have a bunch of yoga poses and a sequence that I will break down for you. It won't be perfect because I am not perfect and I am still learning a lot. To see the new pose each day you can visit my Instagram page. I'll have a more complete breakdown and pose instructions on the blog every day as well. Every Monday will be a guided meditationas well.

To start everything up I will be breaking down sun salutations, or surya namaskar. Sun salutations serve to warm up the body and calm the mind to get your yoga practice started. They are the foundation that the rest of the practice is built on. The very most basic and most important of the poses is Tadasana or mountain pose. 

It looks like this: 

Seems simple enough, right? Toes together, heels slightly apart. Spread your toes and distribute the weight evenly throughout your feet. Ground through your feet. Which is a fancy yoga way of saying take a moment and feel the earth under your toes. Feel tall because you are growing roots. I know it sounds funny, but give it a try. Activate all the muscles in your legs. Pull your knee caps up and rotate your thighs away from each other. Tap into your core, take a deep breath and feel taller. Feel your shoulders relax down your back and the crown of your head reaching towards the sky. Spread your fingers wide and reach a little down. Imagine energy running down your arms and feet. Breathe in and feel your rib cage expand. Breathe out and knit your rib cage together. Take five deep breathes. 

You should feel grounded and energized and maybe you feel like moving some more! Check back tomorrow for the next pose.

And now for some Meditation Monday. Every Monday will be a new meditation. Just 5 minutes of meditation every day can make a huge difference in your life. It helps decrease stress, anxiety and tense muscles. It allows you to have that quiet moment that we all need to recharge.

Meditation can be whatever you need it to be. I know some who like to sit at the kitchen table, hot tea in hand, and meditate in a comfortable chair. Others enjoy sitting on a couch or against a wall. I prefer to sit on my mat. I dedicated my yoga mat to be a place of safety and calm and no judgement. I've worked hard to leave everything else behind the moment I step on to that mat. So it is my favorite place to meditate.

However you want, sit comfortable. Feel tall, crown of the head pulling towards the ceiling, Shoulders down your back. I like to start each meditation by taking a deep breath in and holding it for a second, gathering all the busyness in my mind. And then on the exhale I let it all go. Let my mind be wiped clean, if only for a second. Breathing like this can be meditation enough.

Today's meditation is focusing on Acceptance. You can focus on this concept however you like. I listened to Deepak Chopra's guided meditation on Acceptance. (I highly recommend downloading his Soul of Healing Affirmations cd. You can get it on iTunes and it is everything.) The guided meditation was just over 2 minutes long. Here is one similar that is wonderful.

Another option is to focus on your breathing for a few moments, and then imagine a small circle around you. With each inhale accept everything in that circle, just as it is. Your body, mind, soul. Everything about you. Focus on that acceptance. Exhale acceptance and love, inhale acceptance. As you start to feel at peace with everything in that circle, start to feel the circle expand. Maybe it expands to the room you are in, maybe it is your house, maybe you start to include people. Perhaps you place your job, health or a relationship in the circle. Focus on accepting it, just as it is. No change necessary. It is what it is, and that is ok. Spend five, ten, twenty minutes just breathing and feeling accepted and loved by yourself.

Don't expect much or get frustrated if you can't quiet your mind. This is a practice. No meditation is a bad meditation. Simply taking the time to try is wonderful. Appreciate the effort you put in to showing up for yourself today. And accept yourself, just as you are.

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