Meditation Challenge: Day 12 Curiosity

Meditation Challenge: Day 12 Curiosity
Namaste and welcome to day 12

As we progress along our challenge, it is about time to talk about attitude. Attitude is a powerful filter that influences what we perceive, what we do and how we do it. When training our mind to stay focused through meditation and attitude of curiosity is priceless. In meditation we are not at war with our mind. On the contrary, we are inviting our mind to be curious about what is happening in this unique and irreplaceable moment.

If you would like to clear your mind before meditating, you may try:

Guided meditation below, when the recording comes to an end, take as long as you wish to enjoy the silence and to savor the effects of the practice.

Choosing to be curious,

rubén

Meditation Challenge: Day 11 Refine

Namaste and welcome to day 11!

We are trying each practice for a few days to get a chance to get familiar with it. As you become more familiar with each practice you increase your ability to refine it. With expanded breathing, can you try to feel that your whole torso expands evenly and easily? Can your breathing be an effective tool to erase tension from the usual areas where it accumulates?

In case you’d like to release tension from your shoulders before meditating, you may try:

Guided meditation below, when the recording comes to an end, take as long as you wish to enjoy the silence and to savor the effects of the practice.

Refining skills,

rubén

Meditation Challenge: Day 10 Expanding

Namaste and welcome to day 10!
We are almost at the middle of the journey. It is human nature to want to improve and to want to do well. Sometimes we may get so invested in doing well that we may try too hard. It happens all the time. If we try too hard, we may create pain and discomfort. One of the results is that we lose our relaxation. If you have stayed with the challenge this long, you may have noticed something important that is often overlooked: Even when you stay within you comfort, the boundaries of your comfort zone keep expanding gradually, at the pace that is appropriate and sustainable for you. This is the natural process of growth. Notice if this may be happening for you.

If you want to release tension in your hips and lower back before your practice you can try

Guided meditation below, when the recording comes to an end, take as long as you wish to enjoy the silence and to savor the effects of the practice.

Expanding organically,

rubén

Meditation Challenge: Day 9 Feeling

Namaste and welcome to day 9!

As you stay with your meditation practice you may still find that there are a lot of “internal stations” constantly transmitting. For instance, there may be a running narration of what you are doing, or a judgment like “this is boring”, “I am good/bad at this.” All of the internal commentaries waste your precious vital energy. Today as we try a new breathing exercise, can you choose to focus on feeling instead of commenting? So, instead of living in the story we have created for ourselves (and others) can we choose to shift into feeling mode? Can you just connect to whatever sensations are happening right where you are. When you notice any words, just let them go and return to feeling your breath.

If you would like to start with a little bit of movement to relax more easily , you may want to try:

Guided meditation below, when the recording comes to an end, take as long as you wish to enjoy the silence and to savor the effects of the practice.

Focused on feeling,

rubén

Meditation Challenge: Day 8 New habit

Namaste and welcome to day 8!

I mentioned before that our distractions may be pointing out how our mind is used to stay busy. As you stay with the meditation challenge you may start noticing that you are creating a new habit, the habit of meditating. It includes relaxing and now breathing. The more regular your practice, the more you get used to it until it becomes a new useful habit. Also, I hope that this breathing exercise has been a useful tool for erasing tension by inhaling and exhaling comfortably. You may have noticed that by tuning into our breath we are training our mind to be focused . At the same time, we may find ourselves using our conscious breath as one tool to re-center and to relax during our day.

If you would like to clear your mind before meditating, you may try:

Guided meditation below, when the recording comes to an end, take as long as you wish to enjoy the silence and to savor the effects of the practice.

Joyful breathing,

rubén

Meditation Challenge: Day 7 Choices

Namaste and welcome to day 7!
Wow, it is already a third of the challenge! I hope that you are noticing some benefits from doing this challenge. Perhaps you are feeling more at ease, more relaxed and more awake during your day. However, please do not be surprised if you notice tension, or irritation during your day. One of the things that happens as we grow in our ability to focus and be present is that we notice more easily the things that annoy us. This enables us to make conscious choices. For instance, as you are breathing notice if there is an internal voice criticizing what you are doing or how you are breathing. You can pay attention to that voice only if you want to feel discouraged. Would it be possible to focus on the sensations that happen as you breathe?

In case you’d like to release tension from your shoulders before meditating, you may try:

Guided meditation below, when the recording comes to an end, take as long as you wish to enjoy the silence and to savor the effects of the practice.

Enjoy inhaling and exhaling,

rubén

Meditation Challenge: Day 6 Unique

Namaste and welcome to day 6!
I hope that doing the breathing exercise yesterday helped you feel relaxed and energized. You may have even noticed your breath a little bit more during the rest of your day. In yoga there is a whole set of practices called pranayama directed to gain an exquisite understanding of our breathing processes and their effects on our levels of energy, mood and internal activity. As you practice breathing today, consider that each breath is unique and it cannot be repeated.

If you want to release tension in your hips and lower back before your practice you can try

Guided meditation below, when the recording comes to an end, take as long as you wish to enjoy the silence and to savor the effects of the practice.

Savor your breath,

rubén

Benefits of Yoga Retreats

 

 

The main reason I go to my yoga mat every morning is because there I find a safe space for exploring the interconnections between my body, my breath, my emotions and my mind. My practice is a process of integrating all these different aspects of myself into the present moment. For me, the practice creates a sense of balance, meaning and purpose. My practice sets up the tone for my day,for my actions and for my interactions with others. In other words, my yoga practice prepares me for participating harmoniously in my life.

Our Yoga practice offers us a refuge where we can center and connect to the best possible version of ourselves. That’s why one of my favorite activities is to go on Yoga Retreat because away from the usual distractions I can create a space to invest time cultivating a more intimate relationship to my own being.

The retreat provides a place where we can:

  • forget about our usual tasks, chores and responsibilities
  • have time to rest and relax
  • reconnect with what is truly important to us
  • verify that we are moving along the best path to contribute our uniqueness to the world with grace, kindness and friendliness

Of course, since we are social beings, our journey is made sweeter by sharing with other people who are also exploring ways to be in greater harmony with themselves and with the world.

I would like to invite you to join me for the Joyful Being retreat in Costa Rica from June 3rd to June 10th, 2017. Everything is ready for you: a beautiful location in the natural environment of the Costa Rican mountains, comfortable accommodations, delicious food and plenty of time to rest, relax and recharge. Join me on this unforgettable journey!
For more information on this wonderful yoga retreat in Costa Rica please visit the website below:
yoga-here-now.com/retreats.html#next

Peace,
rubén

Affordable Yoga Retreat Costa Rica

Simple guided meditation with Rubén

 

 

Learning to Breathe efficiently

SeagullsBeach

 

 

Recently, at a social function i was unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised. My wife and i were talking to somebody we had just met and eventually this person mentioned that she liked yoga. I asked her about her practice and could not believe my ears when she said that her favorite aspect of yoga was Pranayama, the breathing awareness practice, and that she practiced her pranayama exercises 6 days a week for an hour each day. I found her response truly inspiring because it is quite unusual for me to meet people with a consistent pranayama practice.

It seems rather obvious that our breath is essential to our life. Some of the benefits from breathing consciously include:

  • Breathing keeps us alive
  • Breathing can help us focus
  • Breathing can help us release stress
  • Breathing can be energizing
  • Breathing can be relaxing
  • Breathing can help relieve pain
  • Breathing can help us be present
  • Breathing massages your organs
  • Breathing can enhance your mood
  • Breathing can strengthen the heart and lungs

With so many benefits, i would think that more and more people would be interested in tapping into this FREE resource for improving our quality of life, well-being and overall health.
In yoga, in my opinion, the two single most important elements in the practice are awareness and breathing. Yoga without one or the other is robbed of the tools that make yoga powerful and transformational.

Unfortunately, very often i hear from students:&lquot;i really don’t know how to breathe&rquot;. Also, often during class i notice that not everybody is clearly attuned to their own breathing process, and ability. I know that making the breath the keystone of my yoga practice, has had a powerful effect on the quality of my practice and on the quality of my life, attention and energy level.

If you are reading this right now, you are breathing well enough to stay alive. The question is, are you breathing efficiently and to your full capacity?

You can test your breathing awareness pretty easily:
Observe your breath without changing the way you are breathing at this moment notice:

  • Is your breath continuous?
  • Is your breath steady?
  • Do your exhalations empty your lungs fully?
  • Is your breath smooth?

If you answered yes to all the questions, it is likely that you have a good level of what i call Breathing Intelligence.

If you answered no to any or all of the questions, i would submit that you can benefit from simple and easy breathing exercises.

For instance, you can try these simple ideas for a few minutes each:

In a comfortable position, relax your belly and allow your belly to move freely in response to each inhalation and each exhalation. It is important to remain relaxed and to breathe without forcing or agitation.

Keeping your breath relaxed, try to minimize the interruptions or pauses between the inhalation and the exhalation.

After a few minutes of trying the exercises above, notice if your mind got a little bit more relaxed and if you feel calmer and with less tension. I you found these simple ideas helpful, i would like to invite you to give yourself the treat of conscious breathing for a few minutes every day and notice the effect these simple, free exercises have on you, your mood and attitude.

There are other easy breathing exercises you might enjoy:

To increase your breathing intelligence, you may also be interested in attending the upcoming workshops:
BREATH FOR HEALTH & VITALITY: Introduction to Pranayama 1 & 2

For more information and to sign up:
http://www.yogaetcstudio.com/schedule-classes/workshops/
Yoga Etc, 727-644-4554, 3338 Tyrone Blvd. St Petersburg, FL 33710

Namaste,

rubén

 

 

Complete Yogic Breathing for Health, Calmness and Concentration

 

 

If you are alive, you are breathing. A remarkable aspect of the respiratory system is that it can work automatically, that is without our conscious intervention; but the breathing system can also be directed by our conscious mind. In yoga we know that the quality of our breath has a powerful influence in the quality of our life, in the way we feel physically, mentally and emotionally.

As a student of yoga I have been exploring a variety of ways of breathing for a number of years and i remember that it was quite confusing to know how i was “supposed” to breathe during the practice of yogic postures. Most of us, are never trained in the art of breathing and thus it is not surprising that we may not be very aware of the wide range of options that we have for breathing. For instance, on a regular basis I notice that some people, in order to calm the mind and feel peaceful, try to take “a deep breath” as a forceful inhalation into the upper chest, and they experience some confusion when they feel that “deep breaths” seem to have the opposite effect to the one they are looking for. The explanation is that breathing intensely into the upper chest tends to generate a response of alarm and, in many people, it can also create a feeling of anxiety.

When exploring breathing techniques, it is common to come across the word diaphragmatic breathing. However, i have learned that the definition of diaphragmatic breathing is different for different people. Some people even argue that all breathing (with very few exceptions) is diaphragmatic because it involves the diaphragm, the main muscle in the breathing process.

The video below offers a, hopefully simple, approach to breathing that guides you into deep and easeful complete breaths in a way that connects you with the complete range of movement of the diaphragm. I find that breathing in this way can help us improve our general health, it can calm our mind and it can be a helpful tool to focus the mind. Please keep in mind that there is no need to struggle, strain or force. This is important! The breath needs to flow without abruptness and without any agitation. Notice towards the end of the video that there is a way to make this exercise even more powerful.

Since many of us have not been practicing this type of breath,it may take several weeks for us to grow in our awareness of the expansion of the torso. So, this way of breathing can also teach us how to be patient. It is worth giving this exercise your time and attention every day. As you do, notice the effect that complete yogic breathing has on you at all levels. I hope that you enjoy breathing this way and I invite to try this way of breathing during the practice of yoga postures and before practicing meditation.
Enjoy the journey of becoming intimate with your breath.

Namaste,

rubén

Simple guided meditation with Rubén