In some forms of yoga, it is common at the end of practice to place ones hands at the eye center to symbolize an open mind.
I am not the image of a perfect yogi. Heck, I’m not the image of a perfect anything except a perfect human, full of imperfections that make me unique and beautiful. As much as I would like to be completely open minded, it is a work in progress.
One area of weakness in particular is getting adjusted to restorative yoga. Lets be honest. I freakin hate it. Nothing fills me with more ennui than a slow paced yoga class with no advanced poses and spending minutes on a bridge modified with cushions sounds like torture. Although I am not proud of it, I have walked out of several yoga classes because it was not what I wanted or expected at the time. I know what I like, I know what I want, but I don’t always know what I need. Sometimes I just need to sit down and shut up.
Enter yoga retreat in Marrakech. Morning vinyasa flow (love it), evening restorative (agonizing!). Ninety minutes of slow moving, holding poses for five minutes that seem like twenty, and a WANDERING MIND. Like a sugar addict in Willy Wonka’s factory, I am all over the place. The instructor at times, knowing the minds inclination to stray, will tell us to come back to our center. Inevitably thought drift in, but meditation is about letting them go. Try it. Try to sit for a minute, or two, or five with a still mind.
But how? I’m supposed to think about NOT thinking? Try I NOT think about the color blue. What color just flashed through your brain? Unless you are colorblind, you probably saw blue. I “sit quietly” and after 45 seconds I’m scrolling through to do lists and thinking of emails and texts needing my attention.
The instructor said something about meditation that really stuck. I will leave your with her paraphrased words and the challenge to sit quietly for a minute or two and still your mind. If nothing else, you might lower your blood pressure, but it probably couldn’t hurt, right?
Listen to the silence. Listen to the sounds. Hear the sounds as they come from and return to the silence.