“What’s easy's not so easy!”
My favorite yoga instructor, Dhirendra, used to say this just about every day in my Hatha class during our warm up of joint movements. I was fortunate enough to study under him both of my months in India, and just about every morning about halfway through the long series that starts with the head and ends with the feet, by which time we’d all be struggling, he’d say, “See? What’s easy’s not so easy!”
I find myself saying that to my students in my classes now as I warm them up before starting a flow, and the memory of Dhirendraji’s instruction always brings a smile to my face. What I’ve realized more and more lately, especially over the course of the past week and a half of the 40 days of intention that I challenged myself to, is how true my favorite teacher’s saying is even off the mat.
I challenged myself to simple things. I decided I would be extra-mindful during my asana practice, that I would do healing meditation, read scripture and journal about my experience, as well as regularly get to bed earlier and also fast once a week. I also intended to be more active on social media about this process.
Well… it has been nearly two weeks since the start of it, and let me just say that I am again reminded that sometimes easy does not mean easy, and simple definitely does not mean easy. Although I have done some of these things consistently, I haven’t done all of them. Being more intentional in my personal yoga practice, making time to read some scripture and write in my journal, as well as practicing very clean eating and fasting, have not been much of a struggle. However, practicing healing meditation for myself (outside of guiding others through it), and sharing via social media have not been my strengths. Those things do not come as naturally for me.
Instead of healing meditation – or any meditation most days to be honest – I tend to want to go and do active things. I’d rather be DOING than sitting alone with my thoughts and trying to concentrate and relax. If this comes naturally to you, I am beyond impressed and a little jelly. Please share tips! I know that it’s easier for me to choose active versus passive, yet that we must have times of passive allowance – that’s how so much healing happens after all. Yet because it’s subtle, it’s more difficult for me. Just as in asana practice, it’s so much more difficult for me to sit still in dandasana, or staff pose, or lie in savasana, than it is to do fifty vinyasas and perfect my chaturanga.
Yesterday, I decided that I really needed to at least try to do a healing meditation, since I had some time in the afternoon and was pretty mellow after waking up earlier than usual that day to teach a morning class. I went into my room, selected a healing meditation on my favorite meditation app (Insight Timer – download it ASAP!), and settled into my bed. I don’t know how long I was awake, but I have no recollection of the meditation even starting, and the next thing I knew, it had been 30 minutes and a gong sound was coming through my phone, signaling that the meditation had ended. I don’t know how much good the meditation part did, since I fell asleep right away, but I did at least have a nap, and I’m telling myself it was healing.
Speaking of sleep, I have not gone to bed early every night, but I have consistently gone to bed earlier, and that’s progress that I’m giving myself credit for. As far as sharing my experience via social media… ugh. I don’t know if I’m too far on the other side of the millennial marker or what, but even though I consider myself a mostly open book about my experiences in life, sharing publically feels so unnatural to me. I find it difficult to remain authentic and I’m even intimidated at the thought of posting. Maybe I get caught up in comparison or self-doubt too much to allow it to just flow naturally, or maybe it’s just something that practice will make easier. My vote is still out on that, but for the rest of the challenge I’ve decided to share what feels natural to share and not to force anything. In other areas of my life, I’ve found that to be the best method.
I have a few things on my heart to write about soon, one of which is related to the scripture portion of my challenge, and as soon as I make the time to I will share them with you. Other than focusing on being more intentional, I’ve been doing lots of work to prepare for the retreat at the end of September and it’s coming together beautifully. If you’re in need of a relaxing, restorative time away in a beautiful, laidback place, I encourage you to look into joining me. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Also, be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already done so!
I hope it’s been a great week for you, and that you have a wonderful weekend!
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