An invitation to stretch and meditate

Today in yoga we started a couple week series of adding on a few minutes of meditation to the end of each class.  I have done some meditation before, but I have a very hard time calming my mind down enough to really just be in the moment.  The class was structured around waking up the body and opening it up so that we could be comfortable to meditate at the end.  This involved a lot of stretches that I am simply not good at even getting into the beginning phases of them.  For whatever the reason, my muscles are very tight.  So there I was crossed legged and attempting to go forward to get a stretch in my hips.  I was frustrated because yet again, I could barely sit up straight much less go further forward.   I could hear my yoga teacher’s voice in the background.

“Check in with your body.  See how it is feeling today.  View this as an invitation into the pose.  See if you can make your practice into a meditation today.”

An invitation?  I had heard teachers say this before, but it didn’t really ever make sense to me.  My muscles generally did not go anywhere without a lot of prodding and work.  It didn’t seem to matter how much I attempted to get them to relax into whatever I was doing, they were not budging and they frequently told me so. But this time, something clicked.  I closed my eyes and began to concentrate on my breathing.

“Let go of your expectations.  You don’t want to have expectations when you meditate.  You want to be open to the experience and whatever you are experiencing at that moment.”

No expectations.  Hmmmm….ok, maybe just for this moment I can let go.  I felt myself sink a bit further into the meditation and a sense of relief wash over me.  Lo and behold, I felt my hips open a bit and I began to go further.  Not much, but just a bit, which was just lovely.

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