Monkey Mind

I thought I would just skim through Yoga Journal, pick a pose and knock out a quick blog about it before heading off to bed. Of course, it wasn’t that easy. Which pose to choose? This is the first real post in our new yoga blog…. it had to be good.. meaningful… perfect… So I kept scrolling, picking and discarding poses right and left, I wandered through blogs and other beautifully designed sites… I was starting to make myself crazy, and then I remembered one of the most important lessons that yoga has taught me. “Shut Up and Listen.” You probably don’t want to cross stitch that, but it is a pretty powerful lesson. When I became a yoga student my head was filled with thoughts; work thoughts and home thoughts and worry thoughts… round and around…Monkey Mind. I finally found the calm in yoga when we started learning more challenging poses. My mind was forced to shut up and I had to listen…. listen to my feet, listen to my knees… listen to my breath. The world went away and yoga brought me a sense of calm.

Am I a completely zen and calm person today?  Heavens no!  But yoga has helped me to incorporate more of that calm and quiet into my life.  When my heart starts to thump frantically and the thoughts begin to spin in my head, more and more often I am able to recall my yoga. To stop, to breathe, to listen and to feel….

So I took a deep breath… and I stopped to listen.  Tree Pose is my favorite.  That’s the pose I wanted to talk about.  So whether that is the perfect place to begin or not, that is the pose that I keep coming back to.  So Tree Pose – Vrksasana is where we will begin our blog.  Tree Pose is an excellent pose to combat Monkey Mind.  It is just challenging enough that you need to tell all those random thoughts to be quite.  “Hush.  I need to listen to my toes.  My ankles are telling me how to adjust my balance… my belly button is reminding me to stand up straighter and to draw my shoulders back.  I’m lifting my arms to the sky and my fingertips are reminding me that it is a beautiful day.  Hush, Monkey Mind…. I am doing yoga.”

Tree Pose – Vrksasana

Yoga @ BT

Check out Yoga Journal for a great explanation of Tree Pose and the tips and variations.

I know, I know… we have done this pose a thousand times in class…. just humor me… watch the video anyway.

Tree Pose Video – Yoga Journal.com

Tree Pose Article – Yoga Journal.com

I don’t plan to explain “how” to do the poses here in this blog.  We do that in class.  In the blog I want to introduce you   to other sources of information.  Sometimes just hearing someone else explain it, or demonstrate the pose will make     something new click for you.

You will notice that most of my yoga links are from YogaJournal.com.  I just like Yoga Journal.  I think it is a great source   of information, nicely broken down into a variety of ways for students (and teachers) to understand.  Yoga Journal has   a number of e-newsletters that you could subscribe to for free.  You could also subscribe to the magazine if you prefer   to have your media in a hard copy.  I subscribe to Yoga Journal (big surprise, huh?) so I would be happy to share        magazines if you are interested.

This is me doing Tree Pose on the runway at Bonne Terre Airport.

Yoga Homework:  Watch the videos and read the two articles.  Go OUTSIDE and do a few tree poses.

Bonus Points: Take your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the grass/leaves when you do your Tree Poses.

This week in class we were listening to: The Emerald Way 2002 – Available on Amazon.com and iTunes

Have a wonderful week, Yoga Kittens.  Thank you for sharing your yoga time with me!

– S

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