Mindfulness

I hope you are having a great month so far!

I just attended the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research a couple of weekends ago and it was an amazing immersion of learning about the research being done in the field of Yoga Therapy. I was so inspired by the presenters and the work they are doing and am really glad I had the chance to learn from those on the cutting edge of Yoga Therapy and Research.

The one thing that really challenged me was the incessant talking of the people in attendance. As someone who does a lot of public speaking, there is nothing more frustrating than people who talk during presentations. I was baffled by these ‘yogis’ who thought it was okay to talk while other people in the room were trying to listen. I am not talking a comment or two, but rather people who talked consistently throughout the presentations. I was so disappointed in people’s inability to pay attention, to give respect to the presenters and to honor other attendees who were trying to listen.

I do not claim to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I am far from it. However, I certainly do my very best to listen and pay attention to those whom I pay to learn from. If you practice mindfulness, don’t you want to pay attention to what you are choosing to do? Don’t you realize that other people around you are trying to hear what is being presented? The constant looks of disapproval from multiple people around them didn’t phase these incessant talkers. Where is the mindfulness in that? Where is the respect? Where is the willingness to be open and receptive to learn?

So, I offer this as a reminder to myself and to everyone who wants to live a more mindful life. Pay attention to what you are choosing to do or choose to do something else. It seems so simple however, it can be very difficult for people to do, myself included. The definition for the Darsana (or philosophy) of Yoga is this: Yoga is the ability to direct the mind towards one chosen thing and maintain that direction for a sustained amount of time without distraction.

Clearly the talkers were not doing yoga. But how about me? Was I? I was having a hard time keeping my attention on what I had chosen due to the distraction. I had to practice and practice hard to keep my focus and remain compassionate. I found it so easy to slip into frustration and judgment towards these people and in that, I was missing out on the presentation. So, clearly I was not in a state of yoga either. Moving didn’t help, because the talkers were everywhere. Which reminded me that distraction is everywhere.

And so it is in life. This was my practice and I didn’t like it. However, it was what it was and I learned from it. Can we continue to pay attention despite the distractions? There will always be something or someone trying to pull us away from the present moment. And that is why we keep at it. We don’t give up when things don’t turn out the way we want and we certainly don’t give up when we think we’ve got it. We keep at it. We keep showing up and doing the best we can each moment. One breath at a time. We just keep breathing….

Appropriately, ‘Just Breathe’ is the theme for our Instagram Challenge this month. What ways are you reminded or inspired or called to just keep breathing? Please, share with us. We want to hear from you! Details about that are in our Instagram blog post and all of the other workshops and events information is under the workshops & events tab above.

Additionally, I am really excited to lead Ecstatic Dance on 6/25 with my friend Krishan who will be Dj’ing. Not a dancer? Not to fear, this is about letting go and allowing yourself to be moved. I will be there to guide those who would prefer it or you can do our own thing. Join us…it will be a sweaty good time! I am also teaching an all levels class Sunday 6/28 to raise much needed funds for the devastation in the sacred land of Nepal. I hope to see you at one of these events or around the studio when I am in town!

With infinite love and gratitude…
Namaste,
Christy