Meditation For People Who Don’t Get It But Really Need It

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New York Times Best Selling Author, Celebrity Fitness trainer  Chalene Johnson recently asked me to be a guest on her podcast show!  I’d love for you to take a listen below and let me know your thoughts…

The Chalene Show – Podcasts – Meditation For People Who Dont Get It But Really Need It

Today is the day that I start my journey towards understanding if meditation has a place in my daily routine.  I’m speaking Andrew Kelley, a.k.a. “The Boston Buddha”.  Andy answers all of my rapidly-paced questions about meditation: Do I have to close my eyes? Do I have to sit with my legs crossed? Where should I meditate and for how long? And, most importantly, WHY should I meditate?

Fact: A lot of very successful people meditate. Another fact: I don’t. However, it seems like everywhere I turn, another super successful person is mentioning how important meditation is to them  on a daily basis. I already have a process that I go through every morning: plan my day, make my bed, stop and take a moment of gratitude, pray, exercise –  is there even room for meditation?

Some common questions about meditation:

Do I have to close my eyes?

Andy says, “No,” but he does recommend that as you’re starting, you should block out as many distractions as possible – and closing your eyes helps.

Do I have to sit with my legs crossed?

Nope. Andy says the idea is to be comfortable and that early practitioners of meditation didn’t have comfy couches like we do.

Why should I meditate?

People who practice and endorse meditation say that it helps them re-focus their mind and also provides them with a sense of calm. Andy says he started meditating because he was having a hard time sleeping and he was pleasantly surprised that it only took one week for his sleeping habits to improve.

When should I meditate?

There is no “right’ time, but you might have to make meditating a priority in your schedule. Many people meditate in the morning because there is nothing else scheduled at that time – it’s quiet and there are no pressing demands on their time. You’ll need to find the time that works best for yourself.

Lastly, JOIN ME ON MY 30-DAY CHALLENGE THROUGH MEDITATION!

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BuddhaBreak: Simplify Your Meditation During The Holidays

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The holiday rush can add a ton of stress to our already too busy day.  Think about it, there are now seemingly way more things to do, more things to buy, more disruptions in our usual routines – it can be a heavy price to pay on our body and mind.

I feel like I’m going through this now. As all of my classes are wrapping up for the year, I’ve had this feeling of not having enough time to do what is needed – to connect fully – without thinking of all the stuff I need to get done, or didn’t get done.  In the beginning of some of my meditations this week, I’ve felt restless and anxious and will notice one of my restless legs tapping (a sure sign for me that my body and mind is saying saying, “hurry up, Andy… get this over with.” .

No matter how busy the holidays get, we need to take time each day to stop and be present with our life – as it is – even if it’s restless.

If you can’t meditate for 10 minutes each day, don’t throw in the towel. Meditating for 5 minutes can be just as an effective practice – even better for you, if you can schedule it in a few times a day.

Above all, remember our mantra for this year – be kind to yourself.  Inner peace is the best place to make sure we all make it hOMe for the holidays;).

I hope this helps.

Clear Intentions

Setting Your IntentionFJ0A0251

Yoga and meditation is about trying to do everything with intention, every breath you take, every move you make (great song), every interaction – is action with meaning.  It’s moving through our yoga class noting every placement, every posture, every modification, and every judgement.  It also reminds us to put things in perspective and gives deeper meaning to those little moments when we’re able to let go of the stress of the day and focus on what we came to do – be in the room and practice.

So setting an intention clearly at the beginning of class is really the key to waking up – and as Will Hunting would say, “let the healing begin”.

I recently had breakfast with a yoga teacher who was telling me that she felt like she hit a plateau in her meditation practice.  Let’s face it, we all get stuck in ruts in different aspects of our life from time to time.  The difference between somebody that has REALLY hit a plateau in their life and somebody who continues to unfold in a real way, is the sincerity of their INTENTIONS.  This yoga teacher is clearly passionate, disciplined, and dedicated to the honesty of her practice.  It takes courage to feel that we can really BE open to our full potentiality and strengthen our attention.  The whole sense of attention is challenging because it’s just so easy to space out on all the things we don’t really need to pay attention to during the day. It requires discipline and constant cultivation in an open, curious way.

This is why I often say that whole path of mindfulness is attention, intention, and attitude. We all have this sincere INTENTION to wake up, to be with what’s here – and then we train ourselves to pay ATTENTION to the little moments – noticing our ATTITUDE in a way that really frees us.

The Attention is: present moment awareness.

The Intention is: why am I paying attention? What is the purpose?

The Attitude is: how am I paying attention? Is my attention open, curious – or is it rigid and judgmental?

Reflecting on these three elements has become integral to my practice, and often forms the beginning or end of the sequence when I’m teaching, and frees me up when I’m giving an assist.

Most importantly, it connects my practice to the other important things in my life and extends into the rest of my day.

I hope this helps!

Embrace The Detours On Your Path

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.” ~ Anonymous.

Over the years I have been teaching meditation to students, I’ve noticed that the ones who keep practicing day after day all experience similar detours.  These detours are inevitable to becoming balanced – fully integrated – and usually come in phases.

Continue reading “Embrace The Detours On Your Path”

Connecting With Community

Below is an incredibly sweet note from a student who recently attended a TBB Meditation Challenge.

Hi Andy,

I was endorsing your workshop to the nice woman working at STIL STUDIO the other day. I told her I had attended one of your workshops and that I was a complete novice, and that you are wonderful (which you are!) and that she should certainly attend. You get my thumbs up, way UP!

I started my yoga practice a little over 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until the past year or so that I noticed I needed something else other than asana. Don’t get me wrong, I love the asana part of my practice, but something inside of me told me I needed more, that I deserved more.

So, I began seeking out ways to get in touch with with the real me, my authentic Self. I started practicing another style of yoga (Para Yoga), focusing on pranayama and realized that beginning a meditation practice might be what I need the most. But where was I to begin?

Continue reading “Connecting With Community”