Posts tagged ‘mindfulness’

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

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

March 5, 2013

March: The Month of Self-Love

by mandy lipka

It’s wise to direct our intentions toward accomplishing real goals now instead of aiming toward unreachable ideals. The Moon’s shift into powerful Scorpio helps us find the resources we need to be successful. Significant gains are likely if we’re willing to work for what we want.

March has begun. And what an exciting month it is! It’s Women’s History Month (which includes International Women’s Day on the 8th), National Nutrition Month, and my birthday month. And spring– a symbol of nature’s rebirth– is only weeks away. So, in honor of these occasions, I’ve officially launched my month of self-love. It’s a small tribute to myself and our mother.

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December 14, 2012

Breathe it all in…

by mandy lipka

breathe it all in

On a worldwide tragic day like today, it’s really all we can do. If you’d like to take the extra step, try this. I just got back from a Hatha class and it’s keeping the sadness at bay, for now.

Om mani padme hum

December 5, 2012

Do Mindful Marriages Exist?

by mandy lipka

Written somewhere between 2008-2009

This morning I eaves-read in the Metro that Massachusetts is going to allow out-of-state gay couples to wed here. I was thrilled. Not only is it embracing the triumph of love (after all, if you’ve found it, who cares with whom— excluding first of kin, of course), but it will also boost the commonwealth’s economy. Plenty of my gay friends (the men in particular) would pay top dollar to tell the world she or he has fallen into crazy, can’t-live-without-each-other love.

LOVE - Photo Courtesy: elephantjournal.com

LOVE – Photo Courtesy: elephantjournal.com

But then, it having been pre-morning coffee and a 30-minute wait for the bus, I thought to myself, these days, marriage has turned into an ugly institution. I’ve experienced my grandmother’s divorce to my step-grandfather, my aunt’s divorce, my parent’s out-of-wedlock baby-making and later never-married separation, [mom’s recent divorce to step-father], and the repercussions of my grandmother’s divorce to my grandfather. My two uncles are still going strong in their marriages, but even those aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. I pray that my best friend, married last year, is part of the blissful 50%. Or is it 40% now?

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April 16, 2012

Time Lost & Found

by mandy lipka

An MBSR classmate shared this great post by Anne Lemott on finding time. Take a look, share thoughts.

This is what I say: First of all, no one needs to watch the news every night, unless one is married to the anchor. Otherwise, you are mostly going to learn more than you need to know about where the local fires are, and how rainy it has been: so rainy! That is half an hour, a few days a week, I tell my students. You could commit to writing one page a night, which, over a year, is most of a book.

March 19, 2012

Week 8: The End!

by mandy lipka

To open our final class we started with a short silence a little standing yoga and then moved into a body scan. From there, we did a 20-min silent sitting meditation. And then A opened the floor for reactions about our last week of practice or how we were feeling today. She does a great job of keeping us at bay when we want to be talking about the “big stuff.”

Several of us shared how we literally take our practice with us — on the train, to the doctor for a long appointment, in the car. Others said they find solace in the idea of always being able to begin again (myself included). Some folks mentioned it’s much easier to integrate into their daily lives when they take 2-3 minutes to meditate a few times per day. And then others said being in the classroom feels like being at home. Those who attended other classrooms said they don’t have the same warmth or connectivity that we do and it comes as a concern. Will it still feel like home when we leave?

A moved us on to a guided reflection before we filled out our end-of-program forms. Once we finished, we got to take a look at our mid-course forms to compare. The difference was pretty surprising. For me, many of the symptoms I had been feeling disappeared. I’m now nearly symptom-less. In the beginning of class, I expressed a whole lot more judgment toward myself and that too melted away. I’m much more compassionate toward myself and others now. It feels great. Another test revealed that I was previously much more nervous and stressed, feeling like at times things were getting out of control, or that I was less on top of things. Now, I’m more secure, relaxed and present.

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