Yoga feels soooo good, so why do I resist establishing a consistent home practice…especially because I’m enrolled in an advanced yoga teacher training?!
Meditation is amazing, so why do I not allocate more time to it?
Why do I put things into my body that aren’t of benefit (at best) or cause harm?
Why do I avoid taking walks in the park during this glorious time of year?
I suspect that these avoidances are due to my ego trying to keep me separated from Self. These practices that expand consciousness are all very dangerous to the ego, and it can’t have that.
Before, I would have attributed my avoidance to other things – namely, distractions. I need more sleep, for starters. But do I? Perhaps the better question is why am I not more efficient with my waking hours. I usually get up at 5 and do what I can to have a chill morning involving tea, a book, and my favorite journaling apps until I sit down to meditate at around 7:30.
Why don’t I swap out some of my reading time for yoga? Ego. Reading let’s me fantasize, and that’s the world in which the ego wants me to remain.
When it comes to yoga, my environment is my distraction. In our home there are young children whose voices and entertainment-oriented sounds carry up to my yoga space (even in the early morning), a boyfriend who turns the news on when he arises, and lots of artificial lights.
Let’s chip away at these “sub-distractions”, which are all sensory in nature. I am very sensitive to light and sound, and things like television, movies, and most music. Rather than relax me, they aggravate. I strongly prefer solitude and silence, and my morning routine is centered around achieving both. My home is very open and has mostly hardwood flooring, so sound and light carry like you wouldn’t believe. And yet, I could be resourceful in finding a solution if my ego wasn’t running the show.
For starters, I could use my noise cancelling AirPods. Some sound slips past them, but not much. And, I can always play some soft drumming or primordial sounds to negate the majority that does without overly compromising my practice. I can also set up my room divider/screen, which creates some separation from a home that is coming alive. While I can’t mute out all sounds and light, I can create an environment that is conductive to my practice.
I’ve pondered these things before; they are not newly derived solutions. What has been missing was a lack of awareness that my ego was orchestrating my resistance. What I must do, then, is to recognize this every time it tries to convince me to keep reading and drinking tea and journaling instead of unrolling my mat. And then, I must remind my ego who is in charge.
My meditation this morning was short (20 minutes), but it was uncharacteristically fantastic! I started it by setting the intention to witness when the ego tried to sabotage my desire to connect with Self. I then closed my eyes and concentrated on both an imagined candle flame and my breath.
After a while, I let go of the candle flame because I found it relatively easy to focus on the breath without distraction. Thoughts would begin to crop up but weren’t very intrusive and were easy to let go. I had noise-cancelling AirPods in, which led me to feel my pulsating heart, and when thoughts intruded my consciousness I lost this sensation. I think I will meditate with my AirPods in from now on just to have this “drum beat” and easy reminder to return to my breath when my ego has taken over.
I also felt a current of energy radiating beyond my body, especially my hands (which were in jin mudra). I felt this in my heart, too, but not as much. I came out of the meditation in an exceptionally calm state. Refreshed. In a way time stopped. Sort of. It’s like I didn’t care at all about it.