recalibrate: day 7
“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You're able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”
― Pema Chödrön
Welcome to our final day together.
Thank you all so much for joining this week. I hope you've enjoyed these practices and now have a few more tools in your toolkit now to use whenever you need. Remember that the aim of yoga is not neccessarily to get better at doing yoga, but to offer us tools to help us get better at living.
The benefits of yoga and meditation are experienced most deeply when practiced consistently. So if you felt you've benefited this week, I encourage you to continue on. These recordings are yours to keep, to use as often as you need. Some days your body may crave movement, some days your mind may need stillness, and sometimes you may need both.
So keep listening.
One of the easiest ways to integrate a new practice into your daily routine is to link it to something you do every day already. Find something you do habitually, something you no longer have to think about, like, perhaps, making your morning coffee or brushing your teeth. Let this hardwired habit become an anchor that reminds you to practice.
Until it's programmed in, come up with a way to remind yourself each day. You could put a little post-it note on your coffee machine, reminding you to practice after you finish your cup of coffee, or, you could lay your mat down beside your bed so it's there for you first thing. Make it simple for yourself. Remember that when we do something different than the way we always have, there often is some initial discomfort, a little friction. Lean into that. Really pay close attention to how you feel on the days you practice. Over time, as you recognize the felt benefits and celebrate your effort, practice effortlessly becomes a part of your daily routine.
I do know that we all have busy lives. And I truly believe that it is quality over quantity. Even a few minutes of focussed attention and deep breathing can totally shift your inner environment. So if you scroll down, I have included a couple of shorter practices. There is one movement practice that is just under 20 minutes and a meditation that is just under 5 minutes.
And I'll leave you, for now, with a good story I heard somewhere along the way.
It's of a woman who went to a meditation retreat with a Zen master. At the end of the weeklong retreat, he suggested to everyone, much like I'm doing now, to continue with their practices. He encouraged them to return home and continue meditating for thirty minutes every day. She put up her hand and told him that she had four kids at home and she didn’t have an extra thirty minutes in her day.
He said the same old lines, "Just get up thirty minutes earlier... reprioritize your day... really try... you can do it..."
After the lecture, she went up to him and asked if he would like to come and spend a few days at her house.
And, as the story goes, he did.
After a couple of days, he came to her and said, “You’re right. You don’t actually have an extra 30 minutes in your day.”
And so, he taught her walking meditation. He taught her how to meditate while cleaning the house, while doing the dishes, while putting her kids to sleep, while brushing her teeth, and so on.
I love this story.
Our practice doesn't need to be lengthy or fancy. There are so many moments in our day where we can simply breathe deep, drop into presence, and just be. Pay attention and be gentle with yourself.
Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join live today! If you missed it, I've shared the recording below.
It's been a pleasure sharing the week with you all!
Live Zoom Class Wrap Up :: January 7, 2021
And a few extras...
10 minutes of movement
Unwind the body and steady the mind in this gentle, opening and grounding yoga practice.
If you've been using any props this week that you've found helpful, you can have them handy here. But you don't necessarily need anything.