Day Eighteen SFY Mindful May Challenge – Practicing yoga at home #homepractice #yogaspace

day18-yogaspace-2day18-yogaspace-1One of the easiest ways to bring more attention and time to your home practice is dedicating a space for yoga and meditation.  Choose a space big enough for your yoga mat, a meditation cushion, maybe some props and an object to focus on during meditation.  It can be a candle, a buddha, or a picture.  Just something that reminds you to feed your soul and lets you practice drishti, which is focusing your gaze during your yoga or meditation practice.

I have a corner in my bedroom which is oriented east and west.  In the morning I face east and move my buddha in front of me, and in the evening I place my mat facing west, and move the buddha and candle against the wall.

If you have a pet, and your pet is calm, you may find they love your yoga space too…in my case, Paco makes for a convenient and relaxing prop. 🙂

And, a tip for parents…if you have young kids in the house, invite them into your yoga space and teach them that it’s a place of reverence and quiet.  Invite them to sit with you and maybe chant OM.  This is a great thing before bed.  I taught my daughter at a young age to respect my yoga space.  When I first created it she thought it looked fun and wanted to play with my props and statues but, she quickly learned that these were for looking at with our eyes, to help bring quiet and peace into my yoga and meditation practice.  When she sees me meditating she will sometimes just step in quietly and sit next to me…it’s awesome. 🙂

Create your yoga space to increase your awareness and mindfulness to your yoga practice and meditation practice.  Notice how much just SEEING your yoga mat and your decorated yoga space gently invites you to take your seat.  Namaste… – Yogamama Meels

 

Day Seventeen SFY Mindful May Challenge – #smile

day15-smileI’ve recently been teaching to more and more beginner yogis and I love when I ask them to smile during their struggle and their intense, scrunched up faces break into a laugh. There’s focus on breath (Prana), gaze (drishti) and the alignment in each pose (asana) but, I love to invite levity, light, and the ability to let yourself struggle, fall, get messy, and laugh…then start again with breath and intention.

Today I laughed at myself in this pose as I TRIED to get my foot in the crook of my elbow, then I looked at this photo feeling AMUSED at how much further I need to go in this pose. But, I can still remember when I couldn’t even reach my foot or balance at all in this pose, like some of my new students in today’s class.

So, I smiled because this pose feels so damn good for my hips, hip flexor, hamstring, and shoulder.  And, how I felt is really all that matters…not whether or not I can reach into the full expression of the pose.  Today, THIS was my full expression of this pose! I smiled because I was outdoors feeling the breeze on my skin. I smiled because Paco, my sweet yoga dog was nearby…again…waiting for me to toss him the frisbee. And, I smiled noticing how I’ve transformed from feeling frustrated with my body to really enjoying and accepting my body, as it is, taking every pose along the way in this beautiful lifelong yoga journey.

Of course, I’ll still imagine that my foot is going to hook into my elbow, and keep smiling on my way there. 😘

I see the hope in you, the hope in me, the hope in all things. Namaste 🙏
Love and laughter…Yogamama Meels