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Headstand cultivates concentration, and is an amazing pose to quiet and still the mind in preparation for meditation.

Monthly Inspiration: November 2016

Morning Sadhana (Practice): Meditation

Jessica Bellofatto

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face
Hello, you who make the morning and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of even, the
miserable and the crotchety-

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light-
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

By Mary Oliver

One of my absolute favorites, I recently read this poem to our new group of KamaDeva Yoga teacher trainees in our first weekend together, in the hopes that it would soften the resistance around having to show up at the studio at 7:15am on both Saturday and Sunday for morning sadhana (practice), which consists of some kriyas (cleansings), chanting, pranayama, and meditation. For me, it's a lot like going running, or to my favorite high intensity work out class—I never REALLY feel like going and could always choose to do something else (like stay in bed!) but I am so much better for going and always feel amazing when I do and it reminds me how worth it it is to move my body in that way. The early morning sadhana is much the same, only the rewards of these deeper practices are far greater than any TRX class I have ever taken (as much as I appreciate that).

To cultivate a daily practice is a gift that we all need and absolutely deserve, on so many levels. I see and feel a marked difference in how I relate and interact with others, from my children to my boyfriend to my students and, perhaps most importantly to MYSELF, on the days I practice as opposed to the days I don't. Our practice can take many forms, but some sort of seated meditation practice is really one of the keys to a quieter mind, a more peaceful existence, and a deep and real connection to the Divine Source which permeates all things.

Don't know where to begin? Well, the title of one of female Buddhist nun Pema Chodron's books can perhaps guide us—Start Where You Are. Know that where you are is exactly where you are meant to be. Trust that where you are is good enough; is, in fact, ideal. Honor that place and then allow your intuition and wisdom to take care of the rest. Set up a place to practice in your home—a small (or large) altar, some sacred objects that inspire you—(remember, anything can be sacred if you infuse it with that energy.) And then, begin.

Choose a seat, close your eyes, begin to notice your breath moving in and your breath moving out, the thoughts arising and falling, physical sensations arising and falling. When the monkey mind pulls you away, notice, without judgement, without commentary, and simply begin again. Let 5 minutes become 10, let 10 become 20. Morning after morning, do your practice. You will come to love this time for yourself, you will come to feel the affects taking root in your life, you will begin to strip away all of the veils and all of the armor which stands between you and who you truly are- boundless, limitless Love. Step into your greatness—it has been waiting for you to come Home.

Seeking guidance with meditation? My dear friend and colleague Kelly Morris (we were in teacher training together at Jivamukti Yoga Center way back in 1996) has an amazing live meditation call every morning at 7am on the free app Periscope. The call is up for 24 hours if the 7am time doesn't work for you. I can not recommend this call enough and I myself listen in as often as possible. For a free trial month, check out The Infinity Call.



KamaDeva Yoga, 15 Lumber Lane, 2nd Fl, East Hampton, NY 11937 Tel: 917.301.6919 Monthly Inspiration Archives