The Cat Pose - Zen Yoga

GENTLE MINDFUL ZEN YOGA | TIBETAN SINGING BOWL MASSAGE | AROMATOUCH (LONDON)

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Here you will find a collection of posts on Zen Yoga, Mindfulness and relevant topics written by May....including some of our Newsletters which are also published here.

By May (The Cat Pose), Aug 17 2016 05:59PM

More often than not, many start by try to clear their minds to a state of blankness in an aim to reach a bubble of what they think meditation actually is....but here's the truth; that blankness is not what meditation is. The human mind is often like a chattering and undying curious monkey, so rather than silencing the monkey, meditation is about how to work with your monkey mind. (A fabulous short video by Mingyur Rinpoche emphasises this point quite well; 'Train Your Monkey Mind') The monkey mind is part of your own being and every single object in this cyclical existence has a purpose to serve.


In the truth of impermanence there is nothing permanently good or bad, all serving a purpose in the moment that it happens. Just like every action, thought or intention having cause as well as effect. Hence your nervous worrying monkey mind needs not to be tamed, but to be loved with compassion. How do we love and nurture something? By creating the awareness to spend time with and on something, which usually develops into further awareness. It is a journey that deserves and begins with your loving compassion towards yourself, igniting what Buddhists call the Bodhicitta heart, that then realises the loving compassion for others beyond the self.


One of the simplest ways to meditate is simply to watch your breath, a foundational technique that almost all who meditate returns to whenever one gets distracted or lost in thoughts. As the often overlooked simple breath holds the key to anchoring us within the present moment. In Vajrayana Buddhism, visualisation and the breath are often used together as tools of meditation. My favourite visualisation is that of the sea and sky....so here's the how to:

1) Sitting on both sitting bones with the tailbone free and spine gently drawn up towards the sky, relax your shoulders, tuck the chin towards your throat and anchor the tip of your tongue to the roof of your closed mouth. Rest your hands on your thighs or form the Chin mudra (joining thumb and index finger at the tip). Feel free to close your eyes or have it half closed.

2) Begin to visualise yourself sitting between the sky and sea as you breathe normally to open up to this moment.

3) Gradually seeing the sky clearing away into a cloudless expansive blue, and seeing the roaring waves of the sea slowing down to a silver mirroring surface almost as though time has come to a halt. Light emerging between the meeting point of the sky and sea shines beautifully.  

4) Then focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale deeply but gently. Should thoughts emerge again, let it go and bring your awareness back to your breath.

5) When you are ready to come out of meditation, gently open your eyes, rub your palms together and allow your hands to cover or gently tap your face as well as any other parts of your body that may be holding tension. 


For those wishing to join us in a divinely inspired guided meditation and Zen Yoga, please drop me an email to book your spot for the last 'Uncovering the Divine Feminine' workshop this Sunday 21st August 2016 (3pm - Greenwich Park, London). Thank you to those who attended last week and I hope it has been useful to help clear some energy, initiate self-healing or bring loving attention to what needs to be nurtured within you in the divine feminine of loving compassion.


There is still an 'Open Class' (Friday 19th August - Pilates & Rehab, Greenwich) this week and two 'Restorative Yoga' (Thursday 18th & 25th August - Your Style Fitness, Woolwich) sessions before I go away to see my Guru in Seattle on 26th August. The Zen Yoga 'Open Classes' in Greenwich will resume on Friday 16th September 2016 at 7.15pm, and I am also looking into starting a new Greenwich class on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (8pm) in October or November 2016 (email for more details). Have a peaceful mid-week friends!


Be well in gentleness,

May

Email: may[at]thecatpose[dot]com

By May (The Cat Pose), Jul 26 2016 10:59AM

Life often happens to us in unexpected ways....whether you have a detailed plan that you are determined to follow, or being one who flows through the rivers of life in whatever form it may come to you. Life is ever changing and impermanent. One of the great truths taught in Buddhism, and something that proves true in one's life no matter what path you walk, is that impermanence happens. From what happens in your environment and the people or situations that surround you, to what happens within you and how you feel when you meet with each issue or scenario. There is often no role play practice as everything happens in an instant. The reason why living in the present and being mindful moment to moment becomes important, whether your reasons lie in peace, wellbeing, spirituality, health or simply just living.


Living from moment to moment without certainty has certainly been true for me the past few months, from traumatic situations happening to those I love to closing down all classes temporarily to be there without regret, my attempts to be mindful of where I am day by day has certainly been my saving grace. Mindfulness took form in having courage to accept the present moment for what it is, letting go of all the 'what-ifs' or 'shoulds', and following the light within my heart that everything will be ok no matter what choice I make. When crisis hits a country, a family, a journey or even a person, the trust of the loving light you have within you for yourself as well as others is exactly the essence ensuring stability, strength and courage to not be washed away by the tides of what is happening. Flowing whilst knowing who you are and why you will cope is a gift we can all give to ourselves.


When crisis hits, with attempting to be mindful we know that there are no big theories or rules except what is simply in that moment. It is why I always emphasise the importance of a breath to anchor ourselves within and work with the flowing energy of the moment, as this is what the mindfulness of Zen Yoga brings....which I hope is what my students can take away with them. So it is time to resume teaching again and I hope you will be able to join me soon....please take a look at our HEALTH page to find out my latest class schedule.


Be well in gentleness,

May


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