meditation and the new year

I’ve practiced yoga since around 2005. I was curious about it and loved it immediately when I started practicing. I’ve also been teaching yoga since 2008, which I absolutely love. After I first began teaching yoga, I also started teaching a 30-minute meditation class that started right after my hour-long yoga class. I jumped at the opportunity because I’ve always enjoyed the meditative aspects of yoga. I ended up teaching meditation for a few years, but haven’t had the chance to start up again since moving to Utah.

image by Alesa Dam

Now, it is said that all good yogis have their own personal practice, but that has never really been true for me. I prefer to practice yoga in a group, whether that be at a gym, Bikram yoga, in an Iyengar or Yogafit training, or even in the classes that I teach. While it is easier to be accountable when you’re meeting with another group of people to practice, on some sort of metaphysical level, I also appreciate moving through the asanas with others. Intangible and indescribable as it sometimes seems, I draw strength and connection that I crave when I practice yoga with other people.

That said, I’ve also never really had my own meditation practice either. I know that Transcendental Meditation (TM) is all the rage, but I have to admit that I recently heard an interview about TM that sort of made my hair stand on end (in a good way). It was the kind of energetic response that makes me take notice. Turns out, there are some TM practitioners around here, and I’m looking in to possible taking an intro class with them. In the meantime, I’ve decided to use the New Year to start meditating on my own.

Let me be honest, the thought of meditating sort of makes my skin crawl. It seems irritating, agitating. It seems like an epic, annoying waste of time. However, yoga has taught me that because I have such a strong response, it’s probably something that I really need. In yoga, I tend to hate poses that I need the most (i.e. camel pose/ustrasana).

So, I’m using the New year to implement meditation. I’m not sure what I’ll get out of it, but I’m going to meditate for 10 minutes every morning and 20 minutes every evening, and I might eventually up that to 20 minutes in the morning. I’m going to do if for 31 days–the entire month of January. I hope that the practice will help me use my time more wisely and purposefully. Of course, I also hope I’ll gain some deeper insight about my life’s path. More than anything, this is an experiment. I have no idea what it will be like, and that’s why I’m going to give it a try.

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