This winter, I went to an open house at my favorite DC yoga studio, Tranquil Space. I had originally picked the studio because it had two locations – one near my home and one near work – and because it offered later classes than most other studios in the area. I work until 8 p.m., and so an 8:30 yoga class sounds pretty good.
I haven’t been doing a great job of getting to classes, though I feel I’m doing a better job keeping up with my personal practice, now that I have a little more space to really spread out.
But at this open house, the studio offered 15-minute information sessions. I went to two – one an introduction to the chakras, which was interesting but honestly 15 minutes is only enough time to get confused! The second, though, was on mindfulness, and it has sent me down a path that’s been equal parts frustrating and rewarding.
Frustrating because it’s hard for me. Like, really, really hard. I’ve become so focused on getting things done and making things happen that I’ve forgotten how to just stop and enjoy moments. Not just special moments or moments where I’m especially happy, but also the moments that are ordinary or boring or annoying.
I have been very busy thinking about how I’d like to like my life to look in the future and I’ve forgotten to live my life as it is now. I touched on this a bit in my last post.
In the workshop, I was introduced to Jon Kabat-Zinn, a medical doctor who has done a great deal of research on mindfulness and health. This video is a good synopsis of why I find him so interesting and accessible:
Because I’m focused on results, I started with the workbook and a promise to meditate for ten minutes a day. Ten minutes isn’t much! I can do ten minutes!
Ten minutes is an eternity if you don’t approach it the right way.
So that tapered off fairly quickly. I’m revisiting the idea, though. Doing more yoga, even in short sessions. (After all, yoga exists to prepare the body for meditation!) Reading the Kabat-Zinn book and ignoring the workbook until I’m ready. Trying to pay attention to the world around me and to myself when I can. Being forgiving when I can’t.
It’s been helping keep me calm in the face of stress. I’m not sure how I want this little feature to go, but I wanted to talk about this and I imagine as I focus more on it and progress, I’ll have more to talk about.