Last night I went to my second ever yoga and coffee night. It was so much fun. A few of my friends practice yoga but we don't really ever talk about it. It's really nice to be around people that share something that is so important to me. I love talking about the different poses, the meditation, the stories from studios, the philosophy, all of it. We tend to kind of do like a round table where someone will bring up a topic and we all kind of provide our own input.
I ended up asking if anyone else does meditation with their practice. I find that yoga has become so westernized and I was curious if by that happening, it has lost it's original purpose. They say yoga is 1% practice, the rest of it is theory/meditation. The asana's (postures) were designed to physically prepare your body for sitting still for hours on end to meditate. I would say at least half of the group on Tuesday still uses yoga to meditate. Which I found fascinating! I told them that I've been having a really hard time with meditation. Like I can't turn off my head. And they all reiterated what other people have told me about meditating; it's not about turning off your thoughts, it's about acknowledging them for what they are, just thoughts. They do not define you anymore than your physical actions. I still find this hard to do though. I understand what they are saying but I don't know how to do it. One of the guys in the group recommended a book called "Turning The Mind Into An Ally" by Sakyong Mipham. He said it has helped him to understand meditation better and to actually meditate better. I went to Chapters right after our meeting but the one I went to didn't have it in stock. I'll have to wait until I go to one of the other stores.
While at Chapters though I did get a book on yoga. It stuck out to me because one of the authors/the person that put it all together is a guest speaker at the Atlantic Yoga Conference in 2011. I didn't know about this until the other day when surfing the yoga/blogger community in Halifax. I'm seriously considering going. From the minute or two I spent on the site it didn't sound like it was much about the physical practice, more focused on the theory practice. I'll have to sit down and take a long look around though. But I digress. The book is called "Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind: Writings on the Connections Between Yoga and Buddhism". The editor is Michael Stone (the guest speaker mentioned above). I'm really excited to read it because people keep telling me that a lot of the principles in yoga are based off of Buddhist beliefs. I'm curious to learn more about both.
Onto the last thing I wanted to mention. In the coffee and yoga meeting someone brought up the term grounding/earthing asking if anyone had heard of it. Personally, I had not but some of the others did. I don't know much about it but it seems that there is a theory out there saying that people will actually soak up negative ions and free electrons from the earth simply by spending time outside, in nature, in the grass in our bare feet. That we soak up these things by coming into real physical contact with the ground, how we were originally meant to be. I found this interesting video on the technique/theory. I also mentioned it to Dave and he seemed to like the idea. Too bad we're going into winter right now :( We said that it would be fun to go camping sometime next spring/summer and make it kind of like our own little camping/meditation/yoga retreat. I LOVE the idea :)