samaya life

Sit Still

September is meditation month at CPY, “sit with it September” as we are affectionately calling it. There is power in your stillness, and willingness to sit. If you are ready for magic, miracles, answers, peace, and a clear knowing in your life, you are ready for a committed meditation practice. I have found with my own practice, that when I am not-so-committed, my life is frantic, out of order, I am distrusting, and have a head full of conversations, thoughts, unearthly beliefs, the constant loop and swirl of things I need to do, want to do, forgot to do, that fly in and out….and it’s just, too much. I reach a certain point where, it just breaks in the inside, and then I start to crave my cushion. I crave the space that is created with each still breath and moment I spend in meditation. I desire clarity in my thoughts and connection to my purpose. I am desperate for kindness and peace-- and so, I SIT. “Sit just to sit,” our teacher Baron Baptiste says. Sit just to sit, I find, and sit to breathe deeply and become the space of peace, and ease and clarity, to create authentic connection to myself and all that is around me, and within me. The answers are there, when we stop forcing the process and give up the need to do, fix and pull something to the surface; when we choose to just sit still, to sit with ourselves, all that we need, desire and the greatest transformations, have space to happen and appear, naturally.

Where to start?

  • Start with a commitment of twice a day (first thing in the morning, and in the evening before bed), sitting for at least 5-7 minutes each time. 

  • Create your space. Have a comfortable floor pillow to sit on (that is on top of a wide flat floor pillow or blanket), a meditation cushion or bolster (I looooove my Samaya set--, or if sitting on the floor is ultra uncomfortable, use a straight back chair.  If holding a rock, a gem stone, cross, anything, grounds you, use it. Light a candle, explore a reading, have a photograph that inspires you and nurtures your spirit. Burn some incense. There are no limits to the creation of your space-- offer what you need and it will feel authentic.

  • Hands. Feet. Breath in and release. Let your feet relax, let your hands relax, with your palms up, down, fingertips touching resting in your lap, or any other mudra that you want to offer in that moment. Relax your body, notice any areas where you are holding, constricting, have tension. Take a deep breath in, lift your shoulders up towards your ears, and breathe out to relax your shoulders down your back, away from your ears. Bring in the constant practice of listening to and noticing your breath flow in and out of your body.

  • Sit without judgement. There are so many ways to meditate. This month we will be sharing with you our favorites styles, mantras, breath work to incorporate, etc. But really, if you can just sit with yourself, you’re meditating. Meditation is not to stop the thoughts that we have, it is to notice the thoughts we are having, and practice releasing, non-attaching to them, and being for a deeper connection within ourselves, beyond the thoughts. 

  • Use the timer on your phone to keep track of time. You’ll soon be sitting past your 5 minute goal, that’s great! Download an app to help you -- my two favorite meditation apps are Insight Timer and Calm. I also listen to Baptiste Yoga podcasts via My Baptiste Practice or on Spotify. There is so much out there, find what you like, what lands for you, and go for it!

  • Stay for the miracles. It’s okay if you move around and re-adjust your seat. It’s okay if your open your eyes and close them again, it’s okay if you pause your stillness for a big stretch and return to sitting. Meditation is the opportunity to begin again, in each moment.

More on meditation to come. Come to yoga asana practice at the studio. The work you do on the mat facilitates the work you do in your life, and physically the practice at CPY does an incredible job of freeing yourself of any holding and tension in the body, allowing for new space to sit with peace and clarity. Enjoy your sits!

Emily Byrd

September 2, 2019

Durham, N.C.