June 26, 2015
On International Yoga Day (June 21st) – while taking a free outdoor yoga class here in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle – which is adjacent to Barefoot Yoga Headquarters – I made a commitment to do yoga for at least a half hour, 6 days a week. Today is day 6.
I’m happy to report I have stuck to my commitment. Not sure I would have if not for announcing this. Life has been extra busy.
I had envisioned waking up early and getting my yoga in, but the snooze button won all week. Here at work, I rolled my yoga mat out in my office. The first day it was completely flat, making it hard not to step on when walking from my desk to anywhere. I got in 5 minutes of yoga. I have since folded it in half, and then I folded it again. I have not returned to it since “day 3″.
So, each evening I have found myself hungry for dinner, home with my freshly-out-of-school-for-the-year almost 8 year-old daughter, and with the prospect of not doing yoga at all. That first night I decided my yoga would happen after eating, but it would be in the form of sitting meditation. There was a time I would have said, “Well, that doesn’t really count.” That was before I tried sitting upright and silent for 30 minutes years ago. In my experience, it ain’t no walk in the park.
The other night, as I drove home from the grocery store at 11 PM, I considered making that day my day of rest for the week. But then it occurred to me I had already inadvertently taken a day of rest on day 2. I went home and did my 30 minutes. This time I played some meditative music (which seems to make it easier – but I wonder if it takes away some of the purity).
The last three nights – between 10 and 11 PM, I have done 30 minutes of sitting meditation. All were different, but had things in common. In each case, I felt more comfortable than I anticipated – with my daughter’s zafu (pictured above) supporting my seat, and my legs bent underneath me (Virasana-hero pose). In each case, I felt proud of myself when the clock started, and I settled in. In all 3 meditations, my mind floated in and out of thoughts, and occasionally stopped thinking altogether, my closed-eyed gaze a deeper black, and just the sound of my breath. In each meditation, my mind wondered impatiently whether I had 15 minutes left, or 3, or 20? In each meditation my skin crawled, and I stirred uncomfortably – wondering if I could keep going. It got intense, and I thought about the folks who do Vipasana meditations for hours and hours. This helped.
Last night I stuck a Barefoot Yoga zabuton (pictured above) underneath my daughter’s zafu. Sometimes to motivate ourselves for a disciplined action, we need help. The zabuton definitely improved my comfort, and will be used as often as possible from here on in. Also, this new meditation throne which resides conveniently under my bed is beckoning me to sit on it. Reminds me of the phrase from Field of Dreams – “build it, and they will come.”
I will have to return that zafu to my daughter, and grab another one for myself. In the meanwhile – meditation definitely counts, although I’m looking forward to yoga movement too in my near future. For now, it’s all about “getting it in.” I believe this flow will grow.