Maybe reading or hearing about some of the benefits has made you start practicing Yoga, Mindfulness or Meditation in the first place.
Or perhaps practicing is just something that you do and that has become part of your life.
Whatever the case, I find it helpful to remind myself from time to time about why I practice.
At a very basic level, practicing Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation creates the conditions for peace in mind and body.
It is a physical and mental practice that trains us in reducing reactivity in our way of being, wether that be in thoughts, in relationships with other people or in any habitual reactive pattern.
Most of us will have experience in how one small negative event or situation can cause a whole lot of negative thoughts and emotions that easily spiral out of our control and end up making us feel far worse then the initial event or situation.
So in order to reduce our reactivity we need tools to calm mind and body.
We begin with the body as most of us do not fully inhabit the body with awareness.
Through our lifestyle we have become removed from our body, and our lives are becoming more and more sedentary and cognitive which often leaves us unable to notice physical sensations as they arise.
Our physical sensations are closely related to our state of mind and by noticing how we are feeling in our body, we gain awareness of our state of mind.
Therefore, only when we begin to pay attention moment to moment, can we notice our reactive attitudes and habitual patterns and learn to let go of them.
This is a skill that requires practice.
We practice in a formal way by bringing moment to moment awareness to our experience of the breath and the body (sensations).
We practice to place single pointed attention on the breath and the body with a gentle and kind attitude of coming back over and over again.
Once we have established a level of consistent focus and attention, we are able to open up to our experience as a whole (breath, sensations, sounds, thoughts, smells, tastes, etc.) were we can experience whatever arises without reacting to it.
This formal way of practice can be through Mindfulness, Meditation or Yoga and requires commitment and consistency.
So when we practice Yoga, Mindfulness or Meditation, we create space for quietude and cultivate awareness of what occurs in this very moment and in this very body.
When mind and body begin to calm, we have space to gain insight into our very being and we remember whats important in our lives. That way we can restructure our values and allow ourselves to be who we truly are.
Kind, compassionate human beings, fully engaged in life as it unfolds which is the foundation for equanimity, peace and happiness.
If you do have regular practice you know that it is difficult to do it consistently, as often there are plenty of reasons to spend your time doing something else. (I often come up with the most elaborate excuses...)
So part of the practice is to commit, to be kind and patient with yourself, and to simply begin over and over again.
For me, practicing Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation is a journey that has allowed me a sense of peace and happiness on many difficult occasions, and it has also given me a path for when I loose it... ;-)
So when I teach, I am offering you what I have learned and experienced through many years of practice and study, so as to guide you to find your own path.
It is a continuous journey that I enjoy sharing and give support to anyone that would like to place practice at the centre of their life.
So if you would like to begin a regular home practice and would like support and guidance, I am offering Donation Based One-on-One sessions during February, see below.
I am asking for a donation instead of a set fee, because the idea is to make the practice accessible to everyone and at the same time allow each person to decide how valuable it it is to them, and what they are able to give.
The word donation comes from the word Dana - which is a Sanskrit and Pali word and means generosity.
So donations are a way of practicing generosity both ways.
If you already have a practice, keep practicing even when it gets difficult, seek support through family, friends and teachers and most importantly enjoy your practice in whatever way it unfolds.
Love and blessings,