Today in class we examined 4 different ways to meditate. The class broke up into 4 groups and rotated to each section. The first section I started off in was Mantra meditation, where a verbal repetition of a word or phrases is used to invoke a meditative state. I chose to just repeat the Om mantra that is most common. I would rather do this type of meditation in a large class setting like we have done before. There is a therapeutic nature that comes with everybody chanting together. The next practice I moved to was the relaxation technique. This techniques is done by selecting a word and repeating that word mentally. The word I chose was Passion. I am a very passionate person and I feel passion is something that I need to keep focusing on to drive me to be successful in life. After this method I moved to walking meditation. I really like this meditation practice. I have a hard time sitting still so moving and meditating was really relaxing. You do this meditation by walking slower than you normally would and focusing about 12 inches ahead of you. The motion of walking is focused on and eventually it becomes rhythmic. The last technique that I tried today was just the practice of being mindful of my breathing. We have done this form of meditating before in class. I have also practiced this form outside of the classroom.
There are so many forms and ways to meditate and the best way to find what is right for you is to just try them. Allowing yourself to be open to new and different thins allows you to grow as a person. I am very happy that other methods and techniques have been shown to me. I hope to continue to work on my mindfulness and integrate meditation into my schedule. It really is a beautiful practice.
The other day we watched a movie regarding meditation. A scientist decided that she wanted to gain a better understanding of what meditation is and what is does for people. She took a trip to Nepal and ended up learning a mediation practice that generally focuses on the motion of breathing in and out. If a thought pops into your head you need to acknowledge it and then let it go. This is a practice of being mindful. She then learned of some other meditation techniques. These techniques ranged from Transcendental Meditation to Mantra meditation. There are a lot of different ways that a person can meditate. Everybody is unique and this means that different forms of meditation fit people differently. There is no one right way to meditate.
This morning I was not feeling the best and ended up missing class today. I decided it would be a good idea to use some of my time this morning to dive into the idea and methods of meditation and the art of being mindful. It is so easy for life to clutter our minds and distract us from the present. There are always things to worry about. The distractions we find ourselves consumed with hinders us from being mindful and enjoy the time that we have now. There is an importance of being aware of what is currently going on instead of what will be occurring. Being mindful is a way to help ground yourself in the present.
I would love to work on being more mindful when I meditate. I find myself often stressed out and being lazy because I can’t find a balance between now and the future. I can’t control everything in my life and being aware of what I can is important. I am going to start off by making sure I meditate once a week and then gradually incorporate it into my daily routine. Maybe I will even start to do it once a day. I also am going to start following a meditation podcast that I just found. I need to start somewhere and I think this is the perfect platform to help in other areas in my life.
Today I decided to do my act of kindness in order to improve my Karma. I had to work at my job at Pizza Ranch all day so I decided to do my act there. I often think about randomly paying for people’s orders that they want me to deliver. There is this guy, Dennis, who often orders form Pizza Ranch and usually gets the same things. Every time I deliver it to him he is so sweet and nice and jokes about paying me next month. Today he order and I decided to pay for his meal. He is a sweet, old man and I just felt he deserved it. He has called the store before and talked to my manager about how good of a worker I am and how nice I am. He has made my day before, so today I decided to make his.
I have to say that I absolutely loved doing yoga at Evolve today! Erin, our instructor, was so kind and helpful in guiding us in our hot yoga session. It was certainly a challenging and sweaty experience. Despite knowing that I am going to be sore tomorrow, I would certainly do hot yoga again. I loved Erin’s teaching style and I found the yoga experience even better with the music that they had playing. I felt like the only thing I wanted to focus on was the yoga session. I didn’t feel as distracted as I normally do. The way the session ended definitely the cherry on top of the whole experience. I am all for aromatherapy and the use of oils. Erin rubbed peppermint oil onto the backs of our necks and a dab on our four heads. The menthol in the oil helps you relax even more and helps your body cool down. It really did help a lot. Overall, I loved the hot yoga experience and could for sure see myself doing it again.
Today we started the class with some Hatha Yoga and Sun Salutations. This got us all warmed up to go to Walmart with our $15 gift cards and buy items for our shrine. We payed close attention to little details for the shrine. Color and scent all mattered. We will use things like flowers, incense, food, and color to praise Kali with our shrine.
Today we learned a lot about Bhakti/Puja Yoga. My group decided that we are going to make a shrine to the Hindu godess Kali. She is the Goddess of Time and Change. She is represented as the consort of Shiva. Kali’s name mean several things. Black, time, death, and lord of death are a few of the meanings. My group will attempt to build a shrine that honors Kali as best as we can. Tomorrow we will go and gather any materials that we need to make this happen.
We also did some core strengthening yoga today as well as some three part breathing. I would have to say the the three part breathing is my favorite exercise that we do. Our meditation that we did today focused on strengthening our ability to be mindful. It takes a lot of practice and we learned that today by using a breathing exercise. We attempted to count to 10 breathes, in and out, without thinking of anything other than the present time. Any time that something else popped into our heads we had to start over. I think this method of practicing mindfulness is a very good technique. It is a sense of self discipline when your mind starts to wander.
I use to have a big anxiety about being in front of the classroom. It was a really annoying thing to have anxiety about because all through life you present yourself in front of people. In high school, I ended up becoming heavily evolved in theatre for all 4 years and I am currently minoring in Theatre management. I can honestly say that by allowing myself to ease into a hobby that helps eliminate that anxiety it has helped me in other areas of my life. This yoga class is a perfect example.
I discuss that anxiety above because of the fact that we taught the class Hatha Yoga poses. I was nervous at first when we were told we were going to be teaching the class a lot during this May Term. Then it quickly faded away because all of us students were in the same boat. We all had to do it.
The Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
The pose that I ended up teaching the class is called the Triangle Pose, also known as Trikonasana in Sanskrit. It is used in order to increase mobility in the hips and lower back. The pose can also be felt in the legs, neck, spin, and arms. The benefits of the pose include reduced stiffness in various parts of the body, correcting the alignment of the shoulders, strengthening of the ligaments in both the arms and legs, as well as many other benefits. It is important t take caution when doing this pose. Not all poses are safe for everyone to do especially if you known that a pose may hurt a current injury even more. The twisting of the spin may be beneficial to some but it can also hurt the lower back instead of help. Always take caution when performing yoga and never push into poses that are uncomfortable. Yoga needs to be taken at a slow and steady rate. Rushing into difficult poses is never a good idea.
Performing the Pose
The poses is usually done in two part, facing right, and then facing left.
1.) Start by standing in the Mountain pose facing the front of the mat.
2.) Turn your body to face the side of the mat and walk your legs apart about 3-4 feet. (the more advanced you are the further you can have your legs apart) Make sure that your heels are inline with each other.
3.) Turn your right foot 90 degrees to face the front of the mat and turn your left foot inward about 45 degrees.
4.) Extend your arms out to create a T-shape with your body, reaching out to feel as though your arms and legs continue on beyond what they really are. Inhale as you bring your arms up. The palms of your hands should be facing down.
5.) The legs should be making a triangle and your arms should be parallel to the floor. Remember to stay as straight in line with your body as possible. Imagine yourself pressed between two panes of glass.
6.) Drop your right arm down to touch either your shin or your floor and extend the left arm up into the air above you. The arms should still be in line with each other. Turn your face up to look at the inside of your left palm. Exhale while you move down into this position.
7.) Repeat breathing in and out as much as you would like. Exhale as you come up from the pose.
Meditation has always been something I found very interesting. I have done it a few times for theatre classes as well as on my own. I would love to make it a regular part of my week. I think that I will find myself a lot more relaxed and focused if I bring meditation into my life.
I absolutely love Pranayama breathing! When we did the A-O-M pranayama it certainly made me feel like the class was connected as one. I find that very rewarding and it is exactly what I was hoping we would do in class. Being aware that you are one with the Universe is a really exciting feeling.
1. ) I would like to have a better understanding of the Hindu culture and teachings. I have always been interested in meditation and yoga so I feel it will only help me to understand where these teachings come.
2.) I want to become physically fluent in moving from pose to pose as well as work on remembering to breath.
3.) I would like to be able to use meditation as a way to completely block out the world around me and only focus on the meditation. I have done meditation before but there is always some kind of mental distraction that hinders me from achieving a decent meditation session.