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Episode 133: Yoga for Life’s Transitions with Ty Powers

This week, I talk with Ty Powers. You might know Ty as the husband of my personal yoga teacher, Sarah Powers. He’s also an incredibly insightful teacher in his own right, a meditation teacher, and coach. Recently, he’s also been leading workshops called Changes and Transitions in Midlife–something that is of particular interest to me now that I’m in my 40s.

Here are some highlights  from our conversation:

*Ty talks briefly about parenting and race and how both of those things have impacted his life

*We commiserate about the challenges of having a spouse who’s an international yoga teacher

*We talk about how things change once a person gets into their 40s and 50s , the process of aging and how to make sense of the changes to your body. And Ty shares why he thinks people are beginning to ask the big questions about life and spirituality earlier today than ever before.

*How,  culturally, we’re missing the mark in preparing for all of life’s transitions, and how practices like yoga and meditation can help us to prepare ourselves for that process

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Ty Powers Bio

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1. It’s been about a year since Sunbasket has been a sponsor of Yogaland. Each week, I get a Sunbasket box delivered to my door and I still get excited! The recipes are creative and delicious with organic produce and clean ingredients. I do the Paleo plan but there are many to choose from — Vegetarian, Vegan, Lean & Clean, Quick & Easy, & Mediterranean, to name just a few. Go to sunbasket.com/yogaland to get $35 off your first order.

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Why I Meditate

I Don't Meditate | Yoga Meditation | Jason Crandell Yoga

“I don’t meditate.”

“I don’t do yoga.”

“Meditation and yoga are for New Age, magical thinkers who are out of touch with reality and have too much time on their hands.”

These might have been some of my own personal excuses I made to the person that was dragging me to my first yoga class more than 20 years ago. She didn’t listen to me. And, really, why should she have listened? I was wrong on all counts. At the time, it was unclear just how profoundly wrong I was. Time would tell a different story.

So, what was my deal? Well, it was simple: I didn’t understand anything about meditation or yoga. So, my mind made up an incorrect story based on very little information. If this sounds familiar, it’s because we all do it from time to time. One of the many problems with this hard-headed tendency is that we cut ourselves off from experiences that can be incredibly valuable to us—like yoga and meditation.

See also Change Your Day with a Lovingkindness Meditation

If we fast-forward two decades to the present moment, I do meditate and I do practice yoga. Both are inextricable elements of my life. If you’re familiar with my classes or online content, you already know that I practice yoga. It’s possible, however, that you don’t know that I meditate. I do. Here’s why.

Why I Meditate

There are countless modern articles that extol the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of meditation. Arguably the entire tradition of yoga would not exist without meditation. Personally, I meditate for three reasons—any other positive side effects of my sitting practice are an added bonus:

1) Sometimes my life feels like a run-on sentence and my meditation practice gives me much needed punctuation. Like everyone else I know, I jump from one thing to another thing in a seemingly endless series of minor events. My meditation practice helps me press the pause button in my life. It helps curb my neurotic impulse to plow through every moment of my life without registering any of them.

2) My meditation practice helps me bear witness to the sensations of my body, the thoughts of my mind, and the feeling of my breath. All of these things are genuinely interesting to me. I’ve always been curious about the human condition and my meditation practice gives me a live glimpse into the phenomenon.

3) My meditation practice balances my active practice by providing me with a complementary physical experience. I like to work intensely in my body. But, I also like the sensory experience of being still. Working intensely and being still both provide physical feedback loops that I use to focus my attention. For me, they’re an inseparable pair.

5 Common Excuses for not Meditating—and why MOST of them are weak

Excuse #1, “My mind isn’t still.”

Counterpoint: Your mind is never going to be still. Never. And, whoever gave you that impression didn’t meditate either. Instead, when you meditate, you’re going to simply observe the activity of your mind so that you can witness your thoughts with greater objectivity. Your mind will still be active because you’re still alive. But, when you meditate consistently, your mind’s activity (usually) settles just enough that there is a lessening of pressure around your thoughts.

Excuse #2, “I don’t have time.”

Counterpoint: You actually do have time, you’re just in the habit of doing other things with your time. And, honestly, you may not be able to make time for meditation every day of your life. Life can get away from us once in a while. However, sitting for 10 minutes a few times a week is plausible for nearly everyone.

Excuse #3, “Meditation is for New Age, magical thinkers who are out of touch with reality and have too much time on their hands.”

Counterpoint: What kind of a person would think this?!?!

Excuse #4, “I can’t sit still.”

Counterpoint: Honestly, this is someone of sound and able body saying, “I can’t move.” Yes, you can. You can sit still. You might be lousy at sitting still. Sitting still might drive you crazy. But, you can sit still. In fact, this makes me think that you might need some practice sitting still. But, wait, how can one practice sitting still??? Oh, that’s right.

Excuse #5, “I don’t know how to meditate.”

Counterpoint: This is NOT lame. This is legitimate. Like so many other things in life, it’s helpful to have some guidance when you’re starting something new—or, trying to stay consistent. If this is your excuse, you’re in luck. I have answers for you below.

How to Start Meditating: Yoga and Meditation Tips for People Who Don’t Meditate

There are countless resources on meditation online, in books, and in local communities. Here are a few resources that you may find helpful.

#1. I’ve released a program on Yogaglo.com called, “I Don’t Meditate.” Clearly, this program was the inspiration for the title of this blog and my recent podcast on Yogaland with Andrea Ferretti. The program consists of 6, 10-minute meditations. You can learn more about the Yogaglo program, here. And, if you haven’t listed to the podcast, please check it out here. Yogaglo has additional meditation classes from exceptional teachers like Sally Kempton, Harshada Wagner, and more.

#2. Jack Kornfield and other meditation teachers at Spirit Rock in Woodacre, CA and the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, are exceptional resources. Jack—and many of the other teachers at Spirit Rock—offer podcasts, guided meditation, and dharma talks that will provide you with endless guidance along the path of meditation.

#3. Local dharma teachers or groups in your area can provide you with guidance and community. Not everyone will have access to a local community of meditators. However, many do. You may even consider driving to a meditation center or sitting group once a month if you live further away. These communities provide support and inspiration that can be invaluable.

I hope that these resources will get you sitting, taking inventory of yourself, and making sure that you don’t make the mistake that I made of saying that you “don’t meditate.”

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Episode 103: Jason and Andrea Talk Meditation

Meditation - Yoga Podcast | Jason Crandell Quote | Yogaland Podcast

Why don’t you have a seat and stay awhile? If you think meditation is boring, hard, pointless, or too time consuming, this meditation podcast episode is for you.

This week, Jason and I discuss everything meditation. We unpack why it’s important for yoga students to meditate. Plus, we’ll give some practical tips to start if you’re new to the practice (or start again if not very consistent). We promise, you’ll be glad you did!

PS: Jason has a brand new program on yogaglo that’s designed for people who don’t yet have a consistent meditation practice. It’s six classes and super-straightforward. Check it out here!

Highlights from the meditation podcast episode:

* The difference between a person’s identity and their habits + how to untangle the two in order to make regular meditation more likely

* Some of the common fears (and excuses!) that keep people from meditating

* Why meditation is an important part of a well-rounded yoga practice and if there’s anyone who shouldn’t meditate

* Jason’s approach to teaching seated meditation and how it’s similar to how he teaches asana

* Plus, we talk about our personal meditation practice, who we’ve studied with, and how it’s helped us

Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Meditation for People Who Don’t Meditate on Yogaglo
New blog post from Jason: Why I Meditate

WRITE A YOGA PODCAST REVIEW

If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

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Episode 72: Change Your Day With a Lovingkindness Meditation

Last week, I talked about the science of self-compassion and how self-compassion practice has more favorable outcomes than boosting self-esteem. On this episode, I offer a way to put self-compassion into practice by sharing a 10-minute guided Lovingkindness meditation. This type of meditation involves silently repeating a mantra and extending love and compassion toward yourself, then toward someone you love, then toward all beings. The full meditation is written out below.

Try it and see what you think!


Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
LOVINGKINDNESS MEDITATION
A lovingkindess meditation is a great way to generate compassion — or at the very least, a benign, friendly feeling — toward yourself and others. The traditional teaching is done seated, but as a personal note, I’ve found that it works well during walking meditation.

1. Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed or in a chair that supports your spine.
2. Close your eyes and take a minute to focus on your breath. When you feel ready, repeat the following phrases to yourself or out loud:

May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.

3. After repeating the above phrases to yourself for about 5 minutes, pause. Think of someone you love and conjure an image of that person. Then repeat the phrases above, focusing on that person. Instead of “May I be filled…” you can change the pronoun appropriately or use their name.

4. After about five minutes, you can try to extend lovingkindess to all beings — regardless of how you feel about them personally and regardless of whether or not you know them. The idea is to extend this kind, open-hearted practice to everyone.

5. When you’ve finished your meditation, notice how difficult or easy it was to offer lovingkindness to yourself vs. the person you love vs. extending it out to all beings. Everyone is different and every day is different. Remember that you don’t have to get meditation “right;” it’s simply a practice to commit to on a regular basis and concentration gets easier with time.

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

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Episode 71: Increase Your Happiness, Curiosity, & Connection With Self-Compassion

High self-esteem used to be regarded as a vital component to happiness. But it’s fallen out of favor in the past decade. Research — much of it led by Dr. Kristin Neff — has shown that self-compassion is a more effective way to increase optimism, happiness, curiosity, and connectedness. This episode talks you through the research and offers three very practical ways to incorporate self-compassion in your yoga practice and life.


Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
LOVINGKINDNESS MEDITATION
A lovingkindess meditation is a great way to generate compassion — or at the very least, a benign, friendly feeling — toward yourself and others. The traditional teaching is done seated, but as a personal note, I’ve found that it works well during walking meditation.

1. Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed or in a chair that supports your spine.
2. Close your eyes and take a minute to focus on your breath. When you feel ready, repeat the following phrases to yourself or out loud:

May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.

3. After repeating the above phrases to yourself for about 5 minutes, pause. Think of someone you love and conjure an image of that person. Then repeat the phrases above, focusing on that person. Instead of “May I be filled…” you can change the pronoun appropriately or use their name.

4. After about five minutes, you can try to extend lovingkindess to all beings — regardless of how you feel about them personally and regardless of whether or not you know them. The idea is to extend this kind, open-hearted practice to everyone.

5. When you’ve finished your meditation, notice how difficult or easy it was to offer lovingkindness to yourself vs. the person you love vs. extending it out to all beings. Everyone is different and every day is different. Remember that you don’t have to get meditation “right;” it’s simply a practice to commit to on a regular basis and concentration gets easier with time.

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

2 comments Add Your Own