Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

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by @anarchyroll
3/27/2014

Yoga was a slippery slope to meditation. The breathing, the focus on breathing, the slowed down mind, the relaxation, the stress relief, the clarity, the endorphins rush, the visualizations, the calmness, the acceptance, the awareness, the present.

I am forever happy and grateful for the practice of meditation coming into my life. I hadn’t heard much about meditation, and apparently that is common. Davos hosted a conference on meditation just this year. Meditation has been around for thousands of years.

When it comes to slowing down my thoughts, calming myself down, reducing anxiety, and positive visualizations; I can use all the help I can get. I have struggled with depression since I was 13. Yoga I started strictly for the physical health benefits. Meditation is exercise for the mind, heart, and spirit.

Like yoga there are many ways to meditate. If you are just beginning the main things to remember are;

  1. Sit or lay down
  2. Press your index finger and thumb together on each hand
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Breath from your stomach/diaphram/solar plexes
  5. Concentrate your thoughts/inner dialogue on tracking the movement of the breath from inhale through exhale

That is the 101, basically everything beyond that is intermediate to advanced level. Those five steps will take you longer to master than you think. Especially in the smartphone centered, rat race world we have been born into. If you are a senior citizen, it’ll be easier, just take yourself back to before the world got into a big hurry.

Stimulus Space Response in the name of this blog. That name comes from the teachings of George Herbert Mead and Stephen Covey. Both talk about the space between stimulus and response where humans execute free will to interpret an interaction. This space is unique to humans, not animals possess this ability. Here I try to write about concepts and things that can be plugged into that space in order to make our response to any stimulus one that is integrated with the best version of our self.

Meditation to me is the tool to cultivate the space between stimulus and response. Like the jack one uses to move a car up off the ground to replace a flat tire.

I have included links throughout this article for help in getting started with meditation. I would suggest doing at least a brief yoga routine before going into a meditation session. Be patient with yourself and with the progress of learning something new, as in the rest of life. I still have unproductive meditation sessions because my mind is habitualized to be preoccupied with thoughts of scarcity, victimism, and mental movies of worst case scenarios. Meditation is not a magic pill, but it does help. I am happy and grateful for what it has done and continues to do for me, and I will be sure to write about it more in the future.

Yoga not only led me to meditation but also led me to try herbal teas. In times of crisis I often need herbal tea more than meditation as the tea has the ability to physically alter my state upon consumption. More on that to come…

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by @anarchyroll
3/7/2014

Very few things have changed my life as much as yoga has.

I started practicing yoga in 2009. I was looking for something new to incorporate into my exercise regimen as well as something to get me out of bed in the morning. I had cable at the time which had an on demand section of channels. One of which was Exercise TV which has since become a Hulu exclusive channel. I started with a ten minute, AM Yoga routine, and have been hooked since.

There are no magic pills in this world. Yoga didn’t cure me of anything. Yoga didn’t overnight change my life. Yoga didn’t make me unrecognizable to my friends. I didn’t become a Buddhist.

What I have come to realize over the past several months is that yoga planted the seeds of paradigm change and shifts in my life. As humans, we can do nothing without breath. Breathing comes before entertainment, shelter, food, or water. Yoga is first and foremost about proper breathing. About getting more oxygen the brain and extremities, before the stretching aspect.

The increased oxygen to my brain slowly but surely started to change the way I thought. Slowly but surely changed the way I perceived myself and the world around me. Slowly but surely allowed me to bend more so that I would not break; physically, mentally, emotionally.

Yoga calms me down and de-stresses me physically and mentally. It literally removes physical tension from my hips and back. Metaphorically it calms me down and slows my constantly racing mind (probably from the increased oxygen going to my brain).

Yoga is the one exercise literally every human with all their limbs can do. There is pre-school yoga and senior citizen yoga. There is highly feminine yoga as well as yoga for bros and regular guys. There is yoga for abs, legs, back, and of course the butt as you’ve noticed from the yoga pants that are inescapable year round these days.

Yoga changed my life by changing the way I looked at everything. I thought yoga was for women and the excessively spiritual. I found that it is literally for everyone. It can be molded and shaped to fit any individuals specific needs and wants from a physical or mental exercise. I use it to calm my mind but also to stretch my muscles in between weight lifting sessions. This helps prevent injury as I am much less likely to tear an overly tight muscle since it gets stretched in a challenging way four to six days a week.

The more I learn about yoga and the more I do it, the more I love it. I am so happy and grateful the practice came into my life and I can’t recommend it highly enough to every man, woman, and/or child that may come across this article at any time in the present moment or future.

Why is yoga my year zero? Because of yoga I started meditating. Because of meditation I started listening to audio books. Because of audio books I began to love learning. Because I began to love learning I realized I could learn to love anything that I previously didn’t like. Once I started trying and liking different things, I started looking at what I had been doing previously and why I didn’t like so many things. Once I started doing that, I started doing the heavy lifting of taking action in the direction of being my best self. I was able to see through the darkness to get to the dawn. I was able to see that sometimes you have to take two steps back to take three steps forward. Everything changed after yoga, everything. And is still changing.

Yoga as the gateway to meditation is another story for another day. I have provided links to multiple yoga websites that will provide you with greater information and detail about the practice of yoga and I encourage you with all of my being to try the practice for yourself, it will be worth your time, energy, focus, and breath. I promise.

Namaste