the log book
Where do you stand (or sit) as we draw close to the end of this 30-day exploration of mindfulness? We've enjoyed people lingering after group classes to try the teacher lead mindfulness practices. Some took advantage of the meditation room that we set up in the small studio. The visits to our blog have increased with each of our posts this month. And several have admitted that they have not quite gotten off the starting line to establish a meditation practice. I know that I started out very strong and then fell off of the meditation wagon.
I smoked several cigarettes before my first meditation. I was alone in another country, appalled by a series of ruined plans, low on cash and rife with anxiety. Maybe this condition jostled me enough to remove whatever opposition I usually feel toward externally originated, traditionally passed down mental practice— because I've always felt that my mind is my own, and meditation seemed like a weird stillness fetish. For whatever reason I sat on the big orange tile floor, let my eyes mostly close, and focused as best I could on inhaling, and exhaling.
Study after study these days is hip to the importance of the relaxation response. You know, the feel good you get post-savasana, meditation or certain pranayam (breath practices). Why is this important? Shouldn’t our energy be focused on moving more, getting fitter, losing weight, to stay healthy? Yes, and er.. no. Public health enemy number one these days appears to be stress (and its direct links to heart disease, obesity, and so on) which is why that restorative yoga class might be a better antidote than another week of full-on cardio.