Game On.

Long time, no post! Apologies if you’ve noticed; I’ve been abroad. I knew that when I was in Poland for 10 days that my meditation practice would pause. It did when I went to Scandinavia last year and I made the decision to change my expectations and not to beat myself up over it. The last time I meditated was the morning was on the flight from Frankfurt to Krakow and I was OK with that. I was a little anxious that I would have trouble sleeping without meditation. But aside from that one day when I drank three cappuccinos (damn you, caffeine), I had zero trouble sleeping thanks to walking 12 hours a day (and the mulled wine, and pierogi, etc).

I started meditating again yesterday morning and it feels totally easy to slip back into my two 20 minute meditations a day. Six to seven AM are my time to meditate, check my email, and pet my cat again.

I’ll get more posts and photos up about my travels, but if you need to see photos in the meantime, you can head over to my Instagram

(Photo is of a church in Gdansk, Poland.)

Gabby B via Livestream

Last Tuesday, Gabrielle Bernstein kicked off the tour for her new book, The Universe Has Your Back, in New York at a church in the East Village. Since I’d just been to her last talk a few weeks prior, I decided to buy a streaming ticket so that J and I could watch it live together. I wanted him to experience but I figured an entire in-person night might be a bit overwhelming. 

The only thing I was curious of is whether or not Gabby’s presence would transcend my TV. She talks a lot about presence in her lectures and especially in her newest book. I knew it wouldn’t be the same, but I wondered just how different it would be. After eating some sweet potato noodles, we settled onto my couch with Playbill tuned in, literally. 

Luckily, it was still worth it. She brought her A-game and she delivered as she told stories, a lot of which I’ve heard before but J hadn’t, and the meditations rocked, too.

If you don’t live in a city where Gabby tours to, fear not, and buy a live stream ticket. It’s almost as good, which is better than not being there at all.

True Power

I hesitated before purchasing a $50 ticket to Gabrielle Bernstein’s YogaJournal Conference talk last Friday night, but I’m glad I did buy the ticket eventually. I needed it. I’d been having a heavy week and all of the yoga classes in the world weren’t helping, so this was just the thing recenter myself. I’m glad I forked over $50 + fees to Ms. Bernstein for two hours of meditations and good times.

She said this was a sort-of new talk for her so she was nervous but as always, she was uplifting and her presence was powerful. (Hence the talk’s name, “True Power.”) A few very intense guided meditations to some incredible music later and I think it was safe to say that everyone in that room (750 of us, apparently) were feeling a lot better. She even insisted on us turning to our neighbor and telling them, with no sugar coating, what was on our minds at that moment. It took a lot of courage but hey, we were probably never going to see that person again, so why not?

I picked up a deck of “Miracles Now” cards before the talk started, too. My dude, the patient person he is, even obliged in picking out a card with me each morning on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings. He’s not really into the spiritual, granola-y stuff, but he’s humoring me. I’ll get him to start meditating someday. 

Anytime I think I’ve had my fill of Gabby’s talks, I’m always wrong and I’m always glad I went. If you haven’t seen her before, go. If you’re, like, sort-of curious, go. If you want to start out slowly, read Spirit Junkie (not her first book, but the first one I read). You (probably) won’t be sorry.

Meditation Master Class with Alan Finger

Last month I was lucky enough to be able to attend a master class in meditation with Alan Finger at Ishta Yoga in the East Village. I hadn’t heard of him before but one of my friends told me she had studied with him and that he was ace.

He teaches the master class on the first Saturday of every month and the class costs $35. There’s very light movement involved (handful of cat/cows, some downdogs) but it’s a lot sitting (duh).

Each master class focuses on something different and that Saturday we focused on the breath and at which points it flowed into and out of in the nostrils. You’re probably thinking what I thought when I heard him teach this: I only have two nostrils to breathe through. What’s he talking about?

image

The above picture is what he drew in my notebook after the class was over. Inside one side of the nose there are different points to access – earth (center of the note), air (top), space (top inner), fire (upper outer), and water (lower outer).

It’s kind of confusing and I’m not doing the best job explaining it now but maybe Google could help – if you’re interested.

Taking a master class with one of the greats was an awesome experience. I would definitely recommend hitting up ISHTA Yoga if you’re interested in deepening your practice. 

Yoga216’s Flash Meditation Mob

I get a daily email from Well+Good about new health trends in the city, yoga classes, meditation stuff, etc. Today this popped up in the email and my reaction was, “OH MY GOODNESS.” So I shelved my yoga class and headed down to what’s called the Fishbowl at the High Line, located at 17th and 10th Avenue. I met a handful of people who work at Yoga216 (a tiny little yoga studio on 20th and 10th) and just before 7:30, we all made our way down to the front of the Fishbowl, took our favorite positions, and meditated for what ended up being 20 minutes. 

It was awesome, and so different! After we went back to Yoga216 and had some complimentary juice and toured the space. It’s a really adorable and zen space, though I think unfortunately it’s a bit out of my price range. Classes are $39 each and they have good reason – there’s only six people per class, so it’s almost like a private session, but nevertheless, I don’t think I could ever make it even a semi-regular habit. But check out their Facebook page if you have a minute.

And if you ever get a chance to meditate on the High Line – I highly suggest it. The noise of the city magically disappears when you tune in.