The benefits of guided meditation

At the end of every yoga class, I guide students through a relaxation exercise.  Guided meditation is the easiest way to meditate.  It is an incredibly fun, healthy and inspiring way to achieve inner peace.  While in a state of deep relaxation, you are guided to imagine positive experiences.  Because you are so relaxed, the imaginary experiences are vivid and very close to real, as far as your body is concerned.  This creates an environment for innumerable health benefits: serotonin levels rise, moods stabilize, creativity increases, easier problem solving, sleep patterns improve, develop empathy, increases DHEA, helps lower blood pressure, respiration slows, circulation increases, strengthens immune system, muscle tension eases, cholesterol levels decrease, quicker recovery from medical procedures, reduces anxiety, aides in balancing hormones, reduces headaches and chronic pain, aides in forgiveness and compassion, create a stronger bond with your religion and so much more.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of guided meditations, but right now these are my favorites: Full-Body Relaxation and a Peaceful Place.

In a Full-Body Relaxation, stress dissipates as you are slowly guided through your body and told how to release tension and relax.  The simplicity and thoroughness of this meditation is what makes it work so well.

In a Peaceful Place, you are guided to create an imaginary world filled with only things and people you want with you – only what makes you feel good.  As you revisit your Peaceful Place, you make it more specific and you are able to “see” it better each time.  This world is a wonderful place for a quick mental “vacation.”

My next goal is to find a good healing meditation.

If you can’t make it to one of my classes, then try to find some free guided meditations on the internet.  I’ll admit you have to like the person’s voice and background music for it to be effective.  So, try a few to find one that really works for you.  Good luck and happy relaxing.

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I had forgotten how much fun it was teaching yoga

I had six wonderful students my first day.  They energized me so much.  I just want to create even more classes and find more relaxation exercises.  One truly great aspect of teaching yoga in a small town versus a big city is that I can see what my students needs are and create practices for them, rather than them having to adjust their practice to me as they would have to do in a big yoga studio.

Unfortunately, no matter what, I’m going to have to do my evening classes at the same time as Zumba on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  There is a Zumba class every day, but Friday, at 5:30. But, honestly, Zumba and Hatha Yoga are two completely separate niches of the fitness community.  I doubt I’ll “steal” many/any of their students.

This weekend, I’ll go buy a few mats to have on hand for any students who may want to buy a mat. 

Sunday night, I laid out my two mats so that the ends wouldn’t be curly in the morning.  Sarah thought that was great.  She started out doing downward dog on the mats, then she moved to doing it on all the rugs and the mats.  It is quite cute to watch a toddler smiling at you from between her knees, again and again and again…

On finding a yoga top

I had the idea last week to try on my old yoga tops to see which ones still fit.  That’s when humility and panic came to visit.  None of my tops fit.  (I do yoga in the morning, and I just wear my pj’s.)  So, yesterday, I went to Austin to find a top or two.  Humility and panic apparently hitched a ride with me.  I’m a 5 foot tall, almost 110 lb. petite person.  Shopping for clothes has always been a challenge, but the recession has really made petite clothes hard to find.  So, I was finding that if the top fit around my ribs, then the shoulder straps sat an inch or two above my shoulders.  If the straps fit, then I had weird bulges coming out the arm holes.  Arrrgh! 

I did find a sleeveless shirt and yoga pants at Academy.  The yoga tops they had, with a pretty design on the front, were completely white on the back.  My instant thought was, “Really?  I’m going to be on the ground…”  Then I went to Ross, but they didn’t have anything that fit.  TJ Max had the biggest selection, and I managed to find a real-live yoga top there.  Whew.  Panic went home.  But, I think humility is here to stay.  (They also had yoga mats for $12.99.)  Then I went to Whole Earth, just in case they had something on the sale rack.  Wow, what a total waste of time.  They had 2 yoga tops, and 2 that could have passed as yoga tops, but none of those fit.  However, what shocked me was to find that apparently yoga has a season.  What?  They had tons of PrAna clothes, but only three different yoga tops, and that was only because the same top came in three different colors.  Dull colors at that.  I will admit, if I had been willing to pay for it, I would have had no problem finding something at Title Nine (NW corner of 5th St. and N. Lamar, entry to parking lot on Baylor).  I love Title Nine.  Don’t laugh – I have given myself permission to get something from there once every six months.  Athleta has several pants and cover-ups that look good too, but their tops are still cut too tight.  There is a large variety of cute and well designed (empire waists, pleats & longer looser cuts) yoga tops on the internet, maybe they’ll be in more stores soon…

I just wanted to share what happened to the yoga teacher.  I thought you’d enjoy it.

Note: Sorry this is a repost, but the first one didn’t make it to my Facebook page.  I know just enough about blogging to be dangerous.  😉

On finding a yoga top

I had the idea last week to try on my old yoga tops to see which ones still fit.  That’s when humility and panic came to visit.  None of my tops fit.  (I do yoga in the morning, and I just wear my pj’s.)  So, yesterday, I went to Austin to find a top or two.  Humility and panic apparently hitched a ride with me.  I’m a 5 foot tall, almost 110 lb. petite person.  Shopping for clothes has always been a challenge, but the recession has really made petite clothes hard to find.  So, I was finding that if the top fit around my ribs, then the shoulder straps sat an inch or two above my shoulders.  If the straps fit, then I had weird bulges coming out the arm holes.  Arrrgh! 

I did find a sleeveless shirt and yoga pants at Academy.  The yoga tops they had, with a pretty design on the front, were completely white on the back.  My instant thought was, “Really?  I’m going to be on the ground…”  Then I went to Ross, but they didn’t have anything that fit.  TJ Max had the biggest selection, and I managed to find a real-live yoga top there.  Whew.  Panic went home.  But, I think humility is here to stay.  (They also had yoga mats for $12.99.)  Then I went to Whole Earth, just in case they had something on the sale rack.  Wow, what a total waste of time.  They had 2 yoga tops, and 2 that could have passed as yoga tops, but none of those fit.  However, what shocked me was to find that apparently yoga has a season.  What?  They had tons of PrAna clothes, but only three different yoga tops, and that was only because the same top came in three different colors.  Dull colors at that.  I will admit, if I had been willing to pay for it, I would have had no problem finding something at Title Nine (NW corner of 5th St. and N. Lamar, entry to parking lot on Baylor).  I love Title Nine.  Don’t laugh – I have given myself permission to get something from there once every six months.  Athleta has several pants and cover-ups that look good too, but their tops are still cut too tight.  There is a large variety of cute and well designed (empire waists, pleats & longer looser cuts) yoga tops on the internet, maybe they’ll be in more stores soon…

I just wanted to share what happened to the yoga teacher.  I thought you’d enjoy it.

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