the dog days of summer are here in central indiana. july was dry and hot and humid; and we have had long, lazy days filled with bike rides and roller skates, reading books and frequent trips to the library,and afternoons and evenings spent at the swimming pool.
our familyoga practice has been focused more on meditation and less on asana (yoga poses). our home was built in 1930 and it does not have central air conditioning. while it has been hot outside this summer…..it has been hot inside our home as well. so hot that it seems silly to do asana in the middle of our sweltering living room. we have taken the familyoga asana practice out into our backyard a few times….but our eldest child balks at the idea that the neighbors might see us. i told her that i think that’s the best part, yet she remains unconvinced.
so, our practice has shifted into calm and cooling meditative familyoga. that’s the hope anyway….the reality has played out a bit differently. but, such is life.
for our familyoga meditations, we gather again in the evenings, after pjs and teeth brushing. the preparations for meditation are easier than preps for asana. we ask each girl to get a pillow or cushion or yoga block. brett and i do the same-he likes meditating while sitting on a cushion. i like to sit on a block. i get our timer and our tibetan singing bowl. we light a few candles, a stick of incense. and we begin. the guidelines are simple. we ask the girls to face either north (wisdom) or east (awakening). they can sit or lie down….and please no talking or squirming. for 10 minutes.
at opportune times throughout our days, brett and i have had conversations with the kids about meditation: what it is? what it’s good for? how to do it? what it’s not? etc.etc. so, i hope that our children have some background knowledge regarding why we are including meditation in our lives. i certainly don’t want them to feel like we are just telling them to “zip it” for 10 minutes….
the first evening we tried our familyoga meditation practice. everyone did really really well with it. i was so pleasantly surprised. the first 3 minutes, aaahhh, we all sat in complete and total silence. if you have ever sat with a group of people in intentional silence/meditative awareness….you know the beauty that is to be found in that space. if you haven’t created time in your life for this, i highly recommend that you do. group meditation is very therapeutic and seems to heal many of the rifts in our inter-personal relationships and community dynamics – and all this occurs without anyone saying a word.
after the first 3 minutes…..the kids got a bit fidgety. amara started tapping.we ignored it. she kept tapping and tapping. but, she stopped when brett and i quietly reminded her of the parameters of the practice. besides that tiny glitch, our first official meditation session was great. we end the meditation by ringing the singing bowl 3 times. the first time it rings, we stretch/yawn. the second time it rings, we bring our palms together at the heart in anjali mudra and state to ourselves something/someone we are grateful for. the third time we ring the bell, we state, again to ourselves, our intentions or goals or aspirations. then, we move around. put stuff away. and we’re done. 10 minutes,that’s it – and really, what else is there? moment by moment, breath by breath, it’s all practice.
coming up: i knew the next few meditation sessions would be more difficult than the first one. the first one was fun. it was novel. now, the kids are on to us. they are bound and determined to assert their wills…..and it does not looks so rosy the next time around.
peace and love, lisa d