Thursday, April 4, 2013


I've done yoga off and on for the past 10 years. Shane and I took a class together once - six or so weeks of classes in the auditorium of his high school (it would have freaked me out to no end to be in my high school auditorium, but the guy took it all in stride.) Melanie and I attended a class in Sugarhouse which was not only an amazing class but had a super hott instructor named Peter. I used to take an awesome power yoga class at the local rec center. And last year I went to bikram yoga twice in a week. My favorite part of any yoga class was always the end, where you lay in shivasana (or "corpse pose"), breathing and relaxing and quieting the mind. I couldn't pin down exactly what I liked about shivasana - I just knew I liked it.

Three weeks ago Rebecca told me about a 21-day meditation challenge that Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra were doing. It was free and I figured I could use a little quiet time in my life, so I started doing it. It only took one session for me to love it.

Each session is 15-16 minutes long. Oprah introduces the subject for the day and then Deepak Chopra discusses the topic further. The challenge is on health - on realizing that our bodies are our greatest gifts and that the thoughts and feelings we have about our bodies affect our overall health. Each meditation lasts about 10 minutes and begins and ends with a bell. It was a little hard for me at first to regulate my breathing and repeating the mantra in my head (why would silently repeating Sanskrit words in my head make me breathless? I don't know. But it did.) but I worked it out through time. I started to realize that I was making my back injury worse by punishing my body for being injured. I realized that I attempt to control things around me which only leads to not just my frustration but to others around me as well. What a concept - to not control things around me. To accept things as they are. (I'm still not perfect at this. Not even close. But I have allowed my children to push the grocery cart at Sam's Club in the past week. And I didn't even complain at them the whole time. Win!)

I like how I feel afterwards. I like how I feel less anxious. Some days I feel energized, other days I feel grateful. After each session, there are 3 questions to answer that deal with the topic for the day. It is satisfying to put into words my hopes for being a better mom, wife, friend, person. My family thinks I am kind of looney, and part of me agrees with them. But being alone in my living room, listening to calming music, thinking of nothing, letting go - it makes me happy. It makes me realize why I've always enjoyed shivasana so much.

I read a quote - "Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God." I don't know that it's exactly my experience, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Opening our hearts, accepting our bodies, setting aside our worries - I don't think God would have a problem with us doing that.

So. Do you meditate? I'm getting worried - the 21-day challenge and it's links will be gone soon and I'm going to need new material. If you have something that works for you, let me know what it is.

Namaste! (Eye roll.)


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