Refuge From Restlessness
Updated: Mar 9
I've just shocked myself, and it's brilliant.
After a lifetime of "hating math," literally being brought to tears trying to figure out the most basic of computer commands, and quitting that accounting course in college because I couldn't understand the instructions for my homework, much less solve it, I've just realized I'm really clear about what turns out to be ... programming!?! Well, in a way. It has to do with the end of January. And yoga. Bear with me.
At the dawn of every January, millions of people are drawn to making resolutions. By month's end, statics says that 80% of those resolutions fail. They are unresolved. (Programming literate friends, please humor me on this flight of fancy.)
By February every year, 80% of us find ourselves in the realm of P vs. NP.
P vs. NP deals with the gap between computers being able to quickly solve problems vs. just being able to test proposed solutions for correctness...solving this problem would have profound effects on computing, and therefore on our society. Daniel Miessler
Underscore unresolved. Often when our intentions remained unresolved, we become discouraged, give up, and go back to feeling unfulfilled. So many New Year's resolutions can leave us feeling bad about ourselves and "less than." Statistics show that of those 80% failed New Year's resolutions, the #1 is to exercise more. Duh. Countless wellness and medical sources recommend we get at a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity to maintain good health. The critical benefits of physical fitness get plenty of press, rightly so. Most people are aware of this, even if they don't follow through. That "150 minutes a week"mantra is a known endeavor.
Yes, exercise matters. And...
I want to lobby the medical industry to promote "inner-cise" with equal urgency. I would love to see the CDC, the World Health Association, and primary care givers also prioritize our inner fitness. Cue: yoga. While yoga can certainly be an important part of an exercise program, where it really shines is with its multitude of practices for wellness for the mind and emotional well being. Meditation, of course, is key among them. Many people know they should be meditating, but don't. "I don't have time" is a common reason for this. It's not my path to be a lobbyist on a global scale. It is my path to offer you engaging ways to sneak in that 150 minutes a week, hopefully in ways that will blossom into countless minutes of mindfulness in your week. What have you got to lose? Maybe a restless, ruminating mind? What do you stand to gain? I like to say, practicing awareness doesn't take time. It makes time.
Here's one simple way--next time you are on your mat, approach every pose slowly and mindfully. Even in--especially in--the more difficult or challenging poses. The next time you are practicing a sun salutation or a flow, imagine moving as if you are a bird who has just "caught a thermal."
Feel yourself in effortless, seamless movement, not moving a single "feather" more than necessary. There is a feeling of timelessness. Elegance in your efficiency. You ride on an undisturbed flow of peaceful awareness. Should the mind get restless because you're not doing enough, let it know you are"doing not doing." If, in the next moment, your body, mind or breath feel more like this:
Notice how that way of doing feels. Directionless? Incessant, frantic, exhausting? I invite you to catch that thermal. Calm the chaos. Practice with effortless effort ( "Prayatna Saithilya"). Your nervous system will love it.
That's the what and why. I'm here to offer you the "how." Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga famously said, "Yoga is 99% practice, 1% theory." Let's practice together. I'll be rolling out a number of offerings in the coming months, beginning with:
The Refuge of Yoga: Grounding Practices for Restless Times
A Yoga Mindset and Yoga Nidra Workshop with Barbra Brady
Saturday, April 1, 1:00-4:00pm
Sonoma Yoga, Sonoma
$65, register and pay through Sonoma Yoga
An in-person workshop of creative inquiry, simple movement, yoga nidra, and the support of sangha, or "good company". Rekindle your curiosity, reclaim your luminous Self, and step into a peaceful, inward flow of awareness.
Second Sundays Satsang
Online, 8:00-9:30am Pacific, every second Sunday
If you can't make it to The Refuge of Yoga workshop, no worries, I'll be offering similar creative practices, inquiries, and "dharma talks"once a month, beginning March 12.
$25 per session, or $65 when you purchase three sessions in advance.
Registration via Zoom required in advance.
Further Opportunities to Work with Me:
I have public classes at blue door yoga & wellness in Penngrove, and monthly at Sonoma Yoga. You may contact the studios for schedules.
I currently have two openings for private clients on my schedule. If you're curious about working with me (curiosity is a potent first step!), feel free to contact me for a 15-minute complimentary Discovery Call.
What are your favorite ways to fortify your inner fitness?
Send me a comment below!
With love and appreciation,
"When delusion is gone, and the truth is realized by means of inquiry into self-nature, when the mind is at peace and the heart leaps to the supreme truth, when all the disturbing thought-waves in the mind-stuff have subsided and there is an unbroken flow of peace and the heart is filled with the bliss of the absolute, when thus the truth has been seen in the heart, then this very world becomes an abode of bliss."
The Concise Yoga Vasistha