movement as meditation: learning to walk in peace (when sitting is not an option)

walking is always, always a good choice.
we were built to walk.
every location of every muscle and every shape of every bone
offers perfection in walking…
our bodies want to walk.
and with the body as in life,
we will find that what attracts us is in our own best interest.

~joy colangelo

It’s walk where you are 3been almost 15 years since I discovered that walking meditation was actually a thing! It happened quite spontaneously through the normal course of my day, trooping around New York City.

One moment I was mapping out errands and very likely puzzling out the “issue-of-the-day” related to grad school, work or relationships; and the next: I could only hear the sound of my breath and the rhythm of my boots on the pavement.

Everything else dropped away. The cacophony of the bustling neighborhood became a low humming in the background — alerting me of my surroundings but no longer as intrusive or overwhelming as it could be.

In the midst of the relentless “madness,” I felt surprisingly centered, clear and relaxed!

But it would still be years before I even stumbled across mention of walking (along with standing, lying down, and, of course the most commonly-known posture, sitting) as a form of meditation. “Ahhhh,” I thought. “So that’s what was happening?!”

Many moons later, I was introduced to the formal practice of walking meditation when I began studying the dharma with my root sangha. Those 20 minutes that we devoted to silently circumambulating the temple helped us transition from the hustle of the day into the quiet refuge of practice. Physically, it also helped to ease tension and to pbig sky mind.constellation2repare us to sit steadily in meditation for 20 minutes.

Beyond the temple walls, I’ve enjoyed walking meditation in yoga studios, at a labyrinth, on a park trail….and lately: around the rug in my living room!

So walk where you are to invite mindfulness and cultivate peace.

#music for #MellowOutMonday: “Retrograde” | James Blake

…for magic + mindfulness + movement + meditation

AND, most especially, to honor mercury retrograde‘s final day of madness!


embodied practice: the magic of mellowing out

Last Monday afternoon, I sprained my ankle. So, instead of teaching, I spent a couple of hours mellowing out in the ER. For my trouble, I returned home to witness this milestone: my 4-year-old son riding his bike without training wheels for the first time (and after only one previous practice with me)!

gets splint loses training wheels

A little magic for the madness…and a lesson in mindfulness. Not only in movement, but also in knowing when to rest. I heard the Universe loud and clear! With a deep bow to my cosmic enforcer Mercury Retrograde, I diligently took care of my injury and enjoyed several days practicing the Buddhist art of having nothing to do, nowhere to go.

My ankle’s mending well, and I’ll be back on the mat tonight to teach the last of two #MellowOutMonday Yin + Yang Yoga classes before my summer “sabbatical.”

In year of espousing to friends and practitioners the wisdom of self-care and self-compassion and leading mindfulness practices in cultivating refuge and relief, I am taking a huge dose of my own medicine! I’ll be taking an extended break from teaching my evening classes for July and August to fully live the lessons I teach about mellowing out.

I look forward to introducing you to my friend, mentor, and teacher Sybil Shelton-Ford of As You Are Yoga who will teach on my behalf, July 7 – August 11. My friend Belinda Thurston, owner of Just B Yoga, will cover the rest.

Join me, wherever you may be, to take refuge + unravel + rest in sweet relief!

#music for #mindfulness in times of #madness: all is full of love

this has become a beloved + enduring mantra for me on any occasion
but especially when life feels off-kilter…