Dear Yogis,

Don’t forget, this morning is our Yoga Cafe.  A time of fellowship, not teaching (specifically) although we always learn something.  I started asking the people at the zoom get-together to bring something to show, something they made or would like to share.  You don’t have to do this, you can just bring a glass of champers, and or a croissant.  By the way – as a pastry aficionado, I have found that Coles sells “ready to bake” raw French croissant in their pastry section.  They are splendid.  I am going to show them at the show and tell. Not exactly yogic, but gorgeous. Yesterday I spoke about priorities.  When I have a croissant, a good one is important.

TIME
As I have been saying – When you have a croissant, have a lovely one.  When you do anything enjoy it.
 We run around all the time, doing more in less time, forgetting the moment.  We are even told to soap our hair in the shower just once to be more efficient..  I did try it when I had shorter hair, and it did save me three minutes, but was it worth it?  When I was tiny my dad washed my hair.  He soaped it twice, and rinsed until it was squeaky clean.  When I wash my hair I listen for that squeak.  In spite of these lovely memories I tried the “time-saving” idea and soaped once.  It was faster but I just didn’t feel the same.  I hadn’t washed my hair “right”, plus I was cross with myself for buying in to the “finish as fast as you can” mentality.

I like being in the shower, hair washing or no.  I don’t rush, I dawdle.  It is not an automatic car wash. I wash mindfully, slowly. I relax and prepare for the day.  It is not a waste of time.  When I step out of the shower I am ready for the day – I am not pumped, I am just READY.  I use the shower as a mindfulness moment. A meditation.  Every out-breath allows me to let go of yesterday. I imagine being in a waterfall of light and prana washing any negativity clear away.  When my mind wanders I come back to this simple meditation.  Doing it this way I have more energy and can move into the day with calmness.  I am a recovering perfectionist.  Perfectionism narrows the mind and pulls you out of the present into the past or the future..

How about taking a yoga attitude into the day, applying it to everything.  EVERYDAY YOGA. Patanjali said that in our yoga practice there should be “no gaps”.  He didn’t mean we should practice vinyasa, he meant that everything we do every day should be done in a yoga way.  Life is not what happens after you have had your three minute shower, raced through breakfast, scrambled to load the dishwasher, wrangled the kids into the car and to school and so on.

Just for the next few days (just as an experiment) ditch the tyranny of time and make some different choices. Take time to have a shower, savour breakfast, really hug the children, go through your chores MINDFULLY.  Covid has taken lots away from us – but it has given us TIME.  Relax and enjoy even the small things and you will come home to yourself.  Life practised this way will leave you time for a gentle 3 minute meditation, and a body opening, glorious, unhurried,  Five Tibetan routine (7 minutes).  Ten “yoga minutes” out of 24 hours is do-able.  You might even have time to do a 10 minute read before the children hit the kitchen.  People tell me they haven’t got time for yoga because they have children.  It is an illusion, an excuse.  We all have the time, we just have to use it better.

Remember the yamas.  They also apply to Time. No killing, Stealing, Lying, respecting all things, or taking more than you need… all apply to time as much as anything else in your life.

Walk gracefully through the day, it is your gift to your children (and yourself).
ENJOY TODAY.. ONE MINDFUL MINUTE AT A TIME.

NAMASTE. JAHNE

ZOOM
FRIDAY: 11am YOGA CAFE,   5.30pm RESTORATIVE YOGA with eights and bands
SATURDAY: 12.30 RESTORATIVE YOGA, 2pm MAKING YOUR OWN TAROT
SUNDAY: 10am Teacher Training THE BHAGAVADGITA (you don’t have to be a teacher to come… interested? Join in)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Yogis,

In this time of change, “a time of two worlds”, nothing can be more important than meditation.

Even if you feel rested, there is so much anxiety and fear in the air you can’t help but expect some transference.  In this atmosphere, even a night of sleep will not provide the total rest you are looking for.  I know that you may have tried sitting up, but have not been comfortable, and have given in to lying down, next comes the pillow, after that the bolster under the knees and then SLEEP.  It is possible to find rest in a sitting position and a deeper. Children, as in this photograph, take some time to come to sitting meditation – lying down is just fine when they enjoy the time as much as these children do.  Notice a couple of mums with the children (about mid frame).  What a lovely thing, sitting or lying down, meditating together.

Some folk can sit in full lotus, some in half lotus and some in the Japanese way, the knees bent, kneeling, sitting on the legs.  In this position with a cushion under the feet it is  it is possible to sit for a long time… I began doing meditations in this position and find it easier to keep my back straight when kneeling.  The most important thing in lotus or cobbler,  is to bring the hips higher than the knees by sitting on a stool or cushion, the knees on the floor.  In this way, stability is achieved.  In the end, it where the mind is that counts, not where your bottom us, however, undisciplined sitting will not get you far.  (By the way.  This kind of meditation, this depth cannot be achieved gardening, swimming, or walking.  It is different).

Keep your back straight.  I find this difficult, made easier by making it part of the meditation.  Feeling the spine erect, and following the breath.  As for everything else, let it go.  Place your left hand palm side up in your right hand.  Let all the muscles in the arms, legs, fingers, palms – everything let go.  Imagine that you are a water plant gently swaying with the current, the river bed solid beneath you.  Calm.

You can start with three minutes.  A good time span if you are starting with husband and children.  For yourself, work towards 15 minutes.  It is possible to find peace and calm in the position of sitting.  Some people need to visualise and the image of the gentle swaying of the reeds in the stream is a calming one.

Some students look on meditation as WORK and want the three minutes to go as quickly as possible so they can have a rest at the end.  Perhaps they are not comfortable in sitting, don’t have the patience to sit and breathe.  To expand on the visual of the river, as you settle into the meditation you could imagine a pebble or a crystal tossed into a river.  See it gently sinking down, down, down into the water, finally reaching the bottom to the place of perfect rest you are looking for.

The river bed is the beginning, not the goal.  When you have reached the riverbed this is where you BEGIN to find your own rest and are no longer troubled or influenced by the current of the river around you, moving, enjoying, knowing where you are, when you are.  Find joy in the moment.

Joy and peace are available to you in this time of sitting, if you can’t find it here, it is unlikely you will experience it anywhere.  Enlightenment is available to you.

The Zen Master Thuong Chieu wrote: “If the practitioner knows his own mind clearly he will obtain results with little effort.  But if he does not know his own mind, all of his effort will be wasted”.

COMMENTS:  Would you like to chat?  I am listening.  When you need someone in difficult times, when you are troubled, spinning the wheels, or just stuck...I am getting into ZOOMING, I have my “trainer wheels” on, and can take appointments for individual zoom consultations.  If you are interested, email and we can set an appointment time. Mine is a mindful approach which combines Buddhist and Western philosophies and offers practical solutions… yogafirst@netcon.net.au

NAMASTE – JAHNE