I hope you are doing well through these trying times. There is so much uncertainty and no doubt disruption to life and our plans. Through it all, I hope your yoga practice has been a welcome support for you. I know mine has. Lately, I have felt pretty turbulent myself, lots of internal shifting and some pretty challenging moments. But something that has really helped me regain my focus and my stability has been my daily meditation practice. It’s not always the serene stillness of a monk, in truth most of the time it’s pretty lively and turbulent, but the regularity and the opportunity to quieten into stillness has been a saviour.
I hope you are now comfortable with our online offerings. Please do reach out to me if you have any questions or need help. I am doing my best to try and minimise confusion. The longer we are in lockdown, the more refined things will be and you will get more used to practising at home. I do encourage you to keep practising and I am super grateful for all your support.
This month I thought I would share with you a few tips to start your daily meditation practice, I hope it helps.
3 Tips for starting a Daily Meditation Practice
Daily meditation really should be high on the priority list to maintain a level of homeostasis and internal harmony. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve overall health and improve clarity and efficiency in daily life. But how many of us do it regularly and/or do we take the time to just do it on our own. Coming to class and doing a few minutes before and after, are great, but even getting to class can be hard.
What if we were able to establish a consistent daily meditation practice?
It’s not hard and it doesn’t have to take long but the benefits are numerous and can be felt in all aspects of life. You might find you have improvements in your relationships, productivity, stress level and overall outlook on life.
So much is uncertain and unsettling right now, Daily meditation can become a welcome and familiar place of solace and calm in an otherwise hectic day.
So how do we establish a daily practice?
Here are 3 tips that might help:
1. Are you a first thing in the morning or last thing at night person?
It can help to work out where you can find the time to do your practice; first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Morning meditation can help set you up in a calm and centred way for the day ahead, you might add some affirmations to help put you in the zone for the day and/or some Pranayama (breathing practices) which can help you enliven your body and mind. You might also find that your household is quiet and you are more alert, making the concentration easier.
Or maybe the last thing before bed will help you to settle down and improve your sleep. Helping you to wash away the events of the day, house your thoughts and calm you down ready for some good quality sleep.
Whichever you choose it can help to pick one and stick to it for a few weeks, pick a time that you can be successful with, minimise distraction and establish this time for yourself. If you need to, put it in your diary. You will find that pretty quickly it becomes a habit and you are on a roll.
2. How long do you meditate for?
You don’t have to sit for hours to have benefits. Studies have shown that as little as 3 mins a day can make a massive difference to your health. This is great news because it means we don’t need to find lots of time for it to be worthwhile. So you might carve out 10 minutes as a starting point. Surely we can all find 10mins a day???? You might find setting a timer helpful so you don’t need to watch the clock or be concerned about how long you are there. Just set the timer, close your eyes and away you go.
3. Find a space to sit down and just BE.
Once we have a time designated and we know if we are going to be a morning person or an evening person all we need now is a space. Find and designate a space to practice, maybe sit in your favourite chair or take a cushion on the floor, maybe you sit with your back against the wall for support or maybe you face a window, the space itself can become a special place for you so find your favourite place in your house and take a seat. Set your timer and then close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and just sit, breath and be. Don’t worry about any end goal just allow the dust to settle, allow yourself to just sit still, and let your awareness move inwards. You might choose to focus on your breath, you might just listen to the sounds around you, you might just sit still and watch your thoughts in your mind.
All we need to do next is get into the habit of being quiet and still, consistently and regularly. The rest will unfold.
I hope this is helpful and I would love to hear how you go, so feel free to reach out to me anytime or join me on Friday nights at 6:30 for a shared practise with the bowls when we are back in the studio. I am thinking about what to do with our Friday night meditation during the lockdown, I will let you know when I come up with an idea. For now, while class is cancelled. you still might take that time for yourself to do a longer sit.
What’s Happening This Month at CYS
Given we are all in lockdown for who knows how long I will still remind you of the great things we have planned for later on in the year. Fingers crossed we can do them, if not they will be postponed until life gets back to some kind of normality.
Sarah is back in September for a Yin Yoga Teachers workshop for spring (Wood element)
Date: 12th September
Time: 11:15 – 2:15pm.
Cost: $85 (NB: If the Covid situation continues this workshop may be postponed, I will keep you posted.)
These sessions are a great way for teachers to gain CEC points as well as gain the wisdom of Sarah’s teachings. For non-teachers, these workshops are a wonderful way for you to dive more deeply into understanding the why’s of practice and discovering new insights. They are very rewarding sessions and well worth it. This session is also offered F2F and Online – you might find practising at home helps you establish a solid home practise also.
We’ll have a few days of alternate timetable in October as we have Module 3 of Sarah’s Yin Teacher Training: The Art of Holding Space (25 hours) I really hope we can have this one!!!
Explore the subtle art of holding space specifically within the context of Yin Yoga and Mindfulness in this 25-hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training module. Holding space for your students is a significant part of being a yoga teacher and it is essential to be able to provide a safe, grounded and welcoming container for people to practice with a non-judgemental awareness and with personal agency/choice. A teacher’s capacity to attune to students’ needs is paramount, as well as a willingness to be with another’s discomfort, whilst also setting safe boundaries. Learning to hold space for others becomes much easier when we have learned to hold space for ourselves.
Training Topics are included below:
- Creating a Safe ‘Holding Space’ and Attuning to Individual Needs
- Theming for Yin Yoga Classes – offering both consistency & variation in your classes
- Inspiration for Opening/Closing a class
- Therapeutic (Active) Listening – Learning how to Listen without an Agenda
- Aspects of Embodiment: Exteroception, Proprioception and Interoception
- Using Props in Yin Yoga for a more restorative approach to practice
- Using a Trauma-Informed Approach in Yin Yoga & Mindfulness
- Refining Our Language as a Teacher to Encourage Choice and Agency in Class
- Aspects of Neuroscience and Vagus Nerve Research
- Methods for Self-Regulation and the ‘Window of Tolerance’ model
- Self-Inquiry, Compassionate Presence, Journaling, Self-Knowledge and Parts Work
- Teaching Meditation and Mindful Awareness (in movement and stillness)
This training is a valuable opportunity for all teachers and those holding space for others.
Investment: $695. Click here to book your place.
Maurice McCann is joining us in November for a 2 session Master class series with a discovery around inversions. Looking at restorative inversions and more dynamic inversions and backbends. Maurice joins us from Yoga Room in Burleigh Heads and is Jon’s teacher. I have no doubt he will be a wonderful influence on us all and really give us some new perspectives and insights into our practice. Fingers crossed this can still go ahead.
Date: 12th and 14th of November.
Cost: $70 for one session or $120 for both.
You can book in here.