Saturday, October 25, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Restive Lads Opt For Meditation Over Detention

Teenage boys are not known for deep contemplation, but if if gets them out of detention then it seems meditation can be very appealing. 
At Balgowlah Boys, a comprehensive public school on the northern beaches, students can now swap an afternoon detention for meditation.
In a darkened classroom last week, about 20 barefooted boys spent an hour breathing, relaxing and clearing their minds. And while they may have been sceptical before their first class, the boys who rolled out of bed for the early-morning class were converts.
For Kobe Edwards, the meditation class was a ticket out of 90 minutes of detention. But he also surprised himself by enjoying it. 
"I felt really relaxed. I will probably come back again," Kobe said. 
For 14-year-old Jerald Paul, he expected meditation to be "pretty boring" but after the class he was surprised at how relaxed and rejuvenated he felt.
"It was better than I thought, better than detention," he said.
The idea for a meditation class came from the school's year 10 advisor, Sebastien Hartog, as he spent one afternoon supervising a detention class.
"I spent an hour and a half staring at these boys and them staring back at me and I thought there had to be a better use of everyone's time," Mr Hartog said. (MORE)

Source: Sydney Morning Hearld

Friday, October 24, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Teach Me How To Hobby: Yoga/Meditation

There’s a sign on the Ave, an advertisement for hot yoga, that reads: “Do hot yoga, look better naked.” I hate that sign.
I’ve been doing yoga and meditation for years. One of my goals in the next few years is to get yoga-instructor certified so I can teach. And the idea that yoga is there to get your body slim and fit, that it is only a material thing, is one of the misconceptions about yoga that frustrates me. Yoga, at its core, is about the relationship between the mind, the body, and the soul. 
The core of yoga’s philosophy is that everything can be supplied from within the individual, whether it be physical exercise or spiritual enlightenment. 
Yoga originated more than 5,000 years ago. No one is really sure exactly when, because the practices are often only passed down from student to teacher. Yoga originated from the need for self-understanding, a harmonious interaction between the mental and physical. It has been recommended by doctors for aiding a number of ailments, including back pain, arthritis, depression, and other chronic conditions.
Despite the current surface-level yoga that many people practice, a lot of yoga was originally based in deep meditation. Its purpose was to work toward the ultimate step of classical yoga, samadhi, the Sanskrit word for contemplation. Samadhi is the realization of the essential nature of the self. In fact, three of eight steps have almost nothing to do with the asanas, or the physical exercises, of yoga. 
I think a lot of people are scared away from yoga because it seems like an “athletic” exercise, but I can assure you it’s not. My legs look like cold spaghetti when I run but I can still do yoga. Yoga is about trusting your body, about letting it do exactly what it needs to do. I mostly practice alone in my apartment, and I use what I’ve learned to do in yoga class on my own. Practicing yoga is about letting go and understanding yourself on a physical and mental level. 
Being flexible isn’t a requirement for a good yoga practice. If you haven’t done it before, I suggest signing up for a Hatha yoga class. These are more pose-based and slower-paced. Hatha allows you to explore your body at your own pace. It also gives you a chance to focus on breathing techniques. (MORE)
Source: Daily UW

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Daily Inspiration

‘Mindful’ Commuters Say Deep Breaths, Clear Mind Keep Them Calm Under Stress

As harried commuters filed aboard a Metro Red Line train at Cleveland Park — jockeying for seats, hoisting bulging tote bags — Denise Keyes gazed straight ahead, took deep breaths and searched for inner peace.
There were no lit candles, no incense, no chanting of “om.” But Keyes was meditating.
Finding stillness on a subway during rush hour might sound impossible. But those who practice “mindful commuting” swear it brings tranquility to the daily misery of crowded trains, late buses, honking horns and traffic jams.
If it sounds too New-Agey or out there for you, consider this: Almost 2 million people use one meditation-on-the-go app, and plenty of others are downloading what has been a recent explosion of guided meditation podcasts and Web recordings. Others, like Keyes, take mindfulness classes.
“It gets me into the mind-set I want to be in for work,” said Keyes, who lives in Bethesda and is a senior associate dean at the Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. “I want to be somebody who — not to sound all Oprah — but I want to be my best self. I want to be compassionate and really listen to people. This helps me do that.”
Potomac resident Nancy Kaplan, 63, said she initially hesitated to tell colleagues about her mindful driving because she didn’t want them to think she was “involved in woo-woo stuff.” (MORE)
Source: Washington Post

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Yoga Keeps Seniors Balanced, Fit

Practicing yoga regularly is one way to combat the slumped posture and deteriorating balance that can come with getting older.
Sometimes those issues start in middle age, as certified yoga instructor Lyndsey Scott has observed. Scott teaches Gentle Yoga at First United Methodist Church in Rantoul.
“Balance is challenging for women in their 50s and 60s,” Scott said. “They have to have patience with where they are at (in a pose) and let go of thinking about where they think they should be.”
This almost-60 correspondent discovered the truth of that while participating in one of Scott’s classes.
Scott guided us movement by movement into the Tree pose, which is completed by standing on one foot. The other leg is bent, and the sole of the foot rested on the inside of the knee of the supporting leg. I could only get the resting foot as high as my ankle, and even then I swayed from side to side in the effort to stay upright.
“Lose balance to find balance,” Scott said encouragingly.
She said yoga practitioners develop an awareness of their breathing and the position of their spines that results in “naturally fine-tuning” posture and balance. (MORE)
Source: Rantoul Press

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Meditation Aids In Relaxation, Improvement Of Mental, Physical Health

 A religious activity that is equally as important as prayer is meditation. This religious activity is practiced all over the world, including here in the U.S.

However, in the U.S., it is not practiced as a religious exercise — but more of a tool for relaxation and improvement of physical and mental health.
I remember the first time I meditated in a high school gym class. We laid down on the wrestling mats listening to the sounds of nature playing from a stereo, and the teacher instructed us to focus on relaxing our bodies, starting from our feet and moving upward. By the end of the meditation lesson, I was almost asleep I was so relaxed.  
Meditation, though, is primarily used in religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. I am not well versed in the religion of Buddhism; however, I do know the Buddha used meditation to achieve enlightenment. 
When studying world religions as a sophomore in college, I watched a documentary about the lives, routines and rituals they had, and the philosophies and beliefs of Buddhist monks.
Often, these monks would meditate for hours at a time and would sometimes meditate for several days — not eating, not sleeping, not interacting with anyone else. They experienced complete oneness with meditation, their bodies and their spirituality. 
I was amazed by some of the stories about monks who would stay in these long-lasting periods of deep meditation. (MORE)
Source: EasternTennessean