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 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

Chair Yoga

 

 

Chair Yoga is an excellent opportunity to practice yoga using a clear support that makes it easier for us to notice the relationships between different parts of our body as well as the actions of our joints. Chair yoga can also make it easier for us to practice when we have limited mobility

Like in any other physical yoga practice, make sure that there is no strain, no struggle and no self-judgement. Instead, invest your energy on making your breath smooth and continuous and on having a friendly and relaxed attitude.

I hope you enjoy this video:

Peace,
rubén

Affordable Yoga Retreat Costa Rica

Simple guided meditation with 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

 

 

Yoga: Am I doing enough?

RoadInForest

 

 

When we approach something new, we often just try to grasp the general idea of the activity. As our knowledge and experience on the topic grow, the more we focus on details and subtleties. However, it can happen that deepening our focus may result in losing a wider perspective. For instance, as we first start practicing yoga postures, it is difficult, for most of us, to understand the detailed instructions that we receive. For instance, it may feel that we are barely capable of staying in the posture without holding our breath, so it seems truly impossible to try to internally rotate this or that while stretching the sole of the foot lengthwise without losing the tone of the inner arch of the back foot. As we make our practice more consistent over time, we may get so immersed in the minute details of the posture that we may forget to have a detached attitude and a soft gaze.

As i observe people around me, i notice a seemingly general tendency in the place where i live, where many people, in spite of enjoying many comforts, such as having a choice on what to eat and a warm space to shelter themselves from the rain and cold weather, seem to find it difficult to keep a gentle smile on their faces. I find that for many of us, our daily obligations and our jobs often become all consuming turning into a source of tension and stress.

As humans it is normal to develop patterns in our ways of moving, breathing, feeling and thinking. We are fortunate to be able to use some of these patterns in response to the stress of challenging and difficult situations with a general sense of alertness to help us focus on the task-at-hand, our survival. Of course, since the body has limited energy, it has to be intelligent in its allocation of resources. So, when we feel threatened, non-essential systems are made into a low priority. For instance, resting, restoring, maintenance and digestion are put on hold for a more convenient time. However, if that more convenient time does not come, the useful skill of alertness and reaction, can get out of control and deplete our energy.

One of the most common requests i hear in yoga class is a request for practices conducive to relaxation. I know that deep relaxation is a necessary and well-deserved reward to counteract our existing circumstances and bring us closer to balance. However, it is not surprising that our tendency to overdo, has become so entrenched, that it carries over into our yoga practice. Don’t get me wrong, I understand how good it feels to get a good workout and to feel the intensity of exploring the limits of what we can do. However, it is not uncommon for people who feel overworked, overextended, stressed out and sleep deprived, to come into the practice of yoga and to continue pushing themselves into more tension and stress. Sometimes this intensity can be the result of getting too caught up in the details of the practice and forgetting that balance is a fundamental aspect of yoga.

It could be argued that one of the essential concepts in yoga philosophy is discernment (in Sanskrit: viveka). Discernment is the capacity to see, feel and sense with increasing clarity the distinction between what is helpful and what is not helpful, what we can and cannot do, what is too much and what is too little. One suggestion that may be useful is to make our practice into a gentle and playful dance to help us explore doing more and then doing less, helping us fine tune our ability to modulate intensity between low and high according to our context, circumstances and to what we need. In this way, we can engage our mind more in our practice and to grow in our ability to sense with clarity and attentiveness the effects of each deliberate choice we make. Consequently, we will notice that our practice is also helping us hone the skills to notice the effects of our approach to working, living our lives and doing everything that we do. In brief, my suggestion is to ask ourselves more often:

  • am i doing too much or too little?
  • can i do more without forcing?
  • would it be helpful to do less?
  • can i savor this moment?
  • can i be relaxed and alert?

We often ask ourselves, how do i know if i am trying too hard or not hard enough?
I would suggest that we find these answers by observing our mind, feeling the emotions in our heart and sensing the general state of our bodies. If your mind is more open, focused and clear, if your body feels supple, resilient and capable of doing what you need it to do and if your heart feels more gratitude and more love, you are probably on the right track.
Receive my sincere wish for vibrant health, peaceful mind and a loving heart,
Namaste

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