I have a confession to make.
I don’t have a regular meditation practice.
I said it.
It’s been a source of shame, even when I did my yoga teacher training and it was a “requirement” of the course, I could never bring myself to sit still, even for 10 minutes. No one was checking! It was my little secret. I am like a child, needing to fidget, feeling tense because I’m not moving, not “doing” anything.
Just this week, I discovered an app, called insight Timer, that gives me guided meditations that are as short as 1 minute.
Baby steps, people…
And you know what? I started meditating! A little bit a day. And it gets better. My 8 year old daughter likes to meditate with me! So we listen to kids guided meditations together (I wiggle around and fidget much more than she does) and it. is. so. nice.
Happy New Year!
The new year is a time to consider new beginnings, to be open to possibilities, and perhaps even to reflect on old habits that may no longer serve us. In my yoga classes this month, we’ll be approaching yoga and the new year with this beginner’s mind. In my own practice, as I am trying to be more mindful of how I do things and why, I notice that I tend to always settle into downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) first with my right foot, then my left. Even the way I sequence my breath in certain series of poses has become a habit (inhaling into cow/bitilasana and exhaling into cat/marjaryasana for example). While some habits are cultivated for a reason, it is a good idea to be mindful of them (even if but once a year!), and decide whether they are habits worth keeping.
How can you bring a beginner’s mind to yoga and to your life?
This month, I (and everyone in the yoga world, it seems) am reflecting on the theme of gratitude. You can reflect on gratitude in meditation as well as express it through asana. I am incorporating both into my classes, having students set an intention of gratitude and ending the class silently noting that for which each of us is grateful. Poses that open the heart, like anahatasana (or puppy dog pose) as well as forward folds, like humble warrior can exemplify gratitude in our asana practice.
What are you grateful for?
Welcome to my website! I am so happy you stopped by.
I’m Nicole, a yoga instructor, mother, avid reader, lover of dance, on hiatus from my international development career, but still a firm believer in social justice, and optimist. I believe that life just keeps getting better and so far, it has.
This space is called Dancing Warrior Yoga, because of my love of the dance-like flow of vinyasa yoga and the strength, calm and confidence that being a yoga warrior/practitioner can bring.
Yoga meets us where we are.
Here we are.
Enjoy and breathe.