with Guest Blogger Erin Haddock of Five Keys Yoga, Tribe Affiliate
March 28th, 5:30-6:30pm*
*Class on the 28th includes complimentary chiropractic adjustment
with Dr. Taylor Clifford
Mindfulness is often compared to surfing - learning to ride the wave without getting caught up within it.Often I hear statements like, "meditation isn't for me, my thoughts just won't stand still." My response is no one's do. Even great masters of meditation say that their thoughts are unceasing (until our brain ceases to be). They've simply learned how to slow the pace of thoughts, direct attention to thought patterns they want to be having, and away from thought patterns they do not want to be having. They experience thoughts without identifying with them. In other words, they've developed better control over their own minds. That is mindfulness; not an empty head.
Patience is not easy, especially living in the U.S. We're used to getting most of the things we want and need relatively quickly. Because many of us haven't had much of a chance to practice our patience skills, meditation becomes a prime way to develop those as well. We learn to sit through thoughts going through the mind like "I need to send that email right now," "something smells good in the kitchen" or "I can't sit here with that noise outside," without reacting right away. This develops an ability to pause after experiencing a thought. We may decide to take the action our first impulse suggested or we may take a different one. This pause encourages us to react using our "wisdom brain" (which is related to the pre-frontal cortex) and make choices that support our larger goals, rather than choices that are only expedient at the moment.
Start small - with just five minutes or so - but be consistent about practicing regularly and minimize distractions, both outside and inside yourself. When you've developed a short routine, you will learn that meditating is enjoyable. Although meditation can bring up unpleasant thoughts and emotions, especially in the beginning, usually it feels really great to truly do nothing. When else do you get the chance to just sit still without any expectations? Once you've taught yourself how good it feels to meditate, you'll start to actively crave it. And these benefits you develop in your mind - patience, consistency, focus - will inevitably begin to bleed into your life beyond meditation.
We can live our whole lives like that - being present to what is actually happening in the moment; not pushing emotion or thoughts away, nor holding onto them; and letting go of the past, in service of the future.
If you'd like to be guided through a mindfulness meditation in person, come to our donation-based #MindfulMarch class at Tribe!
Erin Haddock is E-RYT 200, RYT 500, RCYT with Yoga Alliance. She completed her 200 hour teacher training with the creator of the Yoga for the Special Child® (YSC) method, Sonia Sumar and has taught the YSC method since 2010. She is a certified Stress Management Specialist, and also holds certifications in Adaptive Yoga, the YSC method, and Yoga for Teens. She is a registered children's yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance, and a senior practitioner with YSC.
Erin is passionate about bringing yoga to people who experience barriers to their practice – including physical, intellectual, emotional, financial or geographic. She pursues continuing education in Yoga Therapy at the Integral Yoga Institute in Buckingham, VA and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and Integral Yoga Teachers Association.
The Yoga Therapy components of Erin's instruction are based on the Yoga for the Special Child method, not derived from her status as an RYT® with Yoga Alliance Registry.