Archive for ‘mind-body alignment’

June 19, 2014

Falling Out of Love with Yoga

by mandy lipka

Image

Every once in a while, it happens.

I fall out of love with my yoga practice.

And for the first few days, weeks, sometimes months, my mindfulness depletes– my glass lowers to mindless– and I start playing the “should” game. I should be breathing more and sitting less. I should increase my home practice when I can’t get to the studio. I should start meditating during the work day to alleviate stress. And so it goes…

In every meditation class I’ve taken, it’s a lesson learned. We must stop focusing on how it should feel, what we think we should happen, how often we should practice. And, you know, bring a little compassion into being mindful of ourselves. Sometimes all it takes is a moment to come back to ourselves… to our breath.

After a few weeks of more-than-usual melancholy (yes, of course, I’m feeling the effects of Merc retro), my most common stressor reared its ugly head again. I took a breath, checked the time, and realized I was only steps away from a sanctuary. To my bright-side surprise, I would make it in time for my most peaceful and wholesome yoga class.

A few things changed in the studio (including a sub) that at first, had me out of water. It only took a few deep and equal Ujjayi breaths in my beloved Supta Baddha Konasana before my breathing got deeper, longer, and the world washed away.

I set my intention: Come back to myself.

Nearly halfway through the class, it occurred to me how good this felt. My hip flexors open, my psoas juicy, my sacrum releasing deep tension. Plenty of oxytocin flowing. Damn, this feels good. So good I could feel my ladybits joining in the fun… It’s like amazing make-up sex but even more satisfying for the soul.

When you say something like [I love you] with your whole being, not just with your mouth or your intellect, it can transform the world. – Thich Nhat Hanh

As the class came to an end and I breathed into my feet up the wall, I felt a tingling in my toes, vibrations in the soles; and with a blanketing in-breath of lavender, it hit me…

Tonight, I came back to myself.

Photo credit: HalfMoonYoga.org

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April 12, 2014

Mindfulness Meditation: An Infographic

by mandy lipka

One of my most influential yoga teachers shared this recently. I simply had to pass it on.

Mindfulness Infographic

Photo Credit: YogaInspiration.co

February 4, 2012

Mind-Body Alignment

by mandy lipka

Just completed my second visit to a polarity healer/massage therapist in north central MA. The atmosphere is exactly as you expect– old Victorian home at the end of a dead end in a tiny rural New England town, complete with screened in gazebo for spring and summer visits. I absolutely adore the 50-minute drive. And I’m in good company, as one client travels all the way from New Jersey for Judy’s magical powers.

Judy, Judy, Judy. You caught me in such a whirlwind. And you picked up on it immediately. I let Judy know it was an exceptional week and she talked me down and reassured me that the first visit is the dating dance. We need to build our trust in one another before the healing begins. I started to meditate and smell the cleary sage as we worked through our first exercise. I began to tell her the laundry list of bad habits that misalign my body and she held her hands beneath my sit bones to see how much damage I have done over the years. While she worked her magic on my post-yoga sore body she challenged my mind with some probing questions— When was the last time you saw your father? At what age did you lose your virginity?

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