To wipe or not to wipe, that is the question. Now, don’t panic, I am talking about sweat! In Bikram yoga class! Sheesh. I am a closet wiper, but only on my face at a few key moments in class, otherwise I leave the sweat alone, letting it do its job to cool my body naturally, which is the recommended method. I would prefer to leave the sweat alone on my face as well, but sometimes self-care takes precedence.
Do you like to color? I loved it when I was a child, and loved it again when my children were young. Recently, I have rediscovered it. OK – go ahead and laugh, but it is very relaxing and even a “cool” thing to do nowadays. Well, maybe not cool, but acceptable, in the context of meditation and relaxation. A recent walk through Barnes and Noble last weekend revealed a full table (in prime real estate!) filled with adult coloring books, most of them Mandala coloring books. I couldn’t resist. I bought one, and the fancy colored pencil set displayed right next to it too.
I recently attended a fabulous yoga retreat at the Crestone Mountain Zen Center led by a wonderful yoga teacher named Charlie Samos. The retreat combined yoga, hiking and Zen meditation. I loved it! There were so many enriching experiences at the retreat, but one of the most memorable was the final yoga class. Charlie challenged each of us to find three things in every posture of the class: (1) the ease of Sukhasana or Seated Pose, (2) the stability of Tadasana or Mountain Pose, and (3) the compassion of Savasna.
It was an interesting exercise and made for a deep and enriching class. Each posture was an exploration of emotion and spirit in addition to the physical asana. It was a wonderful treat and a good lesson in how a physical yoga practice can be expanded and deepened through thoughtful meditation.
So far this summer, I have done a lot of traveling. This has been wonderfully fun and I wouldn’t change it, but it has been brutal for my Bikram yoga practice. While I typically practice 4-5 times per week during most of the year, so far this summer, I have practiced 4-5 times in total, and most of that was in the past week. It is bad. My body is not in top form, my muscles ache, and for better or for worse, the bad habits I have worked so hard to break this year have reared their ugly heads. Lucky for me, yoga is a practice, not a perfect, so I will have the opportunity to rebuild.
I have always approached new concepts and ideas with a healthy amount of skepticism, so I came to the concept of non-attachment in a similar way. But I think it might actually be working! As I understand it, non-attachment is a state in which a person becomes less attached or reliant on things, people or concepts of the world to achieve happiness and peace. For example, if you don’t get your typical spot in the yoga room, it is not a cause for anxiety or stress. Or if you don’t get that many comments on a particular blog post, it does not ruin your day (smile). Or if you get a scathing email from someone you trusted and always felt understood your best intentions, you don’t fire off a hasty reply and regret it later. Yeah, that last one.