Consistency is the real power behind meditation and mindfulness practices.
Here are a few recordings for convenient practice at home, work, or the spaces life offers in between. Take
advantage of the the morning hours, time waiting for kids, a train, the few minutes before an appointment, or evening when the house goes quiet to anchor into the space of stillness and peace we all hold within.
For more on meditation, a few helpful hints, and a bit of encouragement read my post "How To Meditate".
Thoughts will scream for attention and it can get frustrating, feel like failure, and tempt you to give up. Please don't! Rather than battling your thoughts, use tricks like allowing them to dissolve, watching them float across the screen of your mind, or experiencing them as background noise. You know they're around but not at the forefront. Some days will be more difficult then others. If you come to your mat wound up and anxious it will take longer to settle and I highly recommend beginning with the Calm Body practices prior to meditation.
One last thing, there's no perfect here. You have a human brain designed to think and a human body that holds your entire history. Own this and release expectations of your practice. Know that if you sit down for a moment and feel your breath in your body, that is enough. Just as each drop of water is essential for filling the bucket, each time you sit is one drop towards cultivating within you transformation, vitality, and peace.
One other really important note - these recordings in no way should take the place of or compare to an actual class. Much is added to the experience when you surround yourself with people entering into a similar journey. There's a sense of being held, supported, and united. The energy is palpable. Especially if you're a beginner, I can't underscore enough the importance of a class. As a teacher I work very hard to create space that is sacred. I take cues from students' state of being that day and intentionally hold a certain energy through my words and "vibe". These recordings should be considered a supplement - a way to maintain practice between classes. I encourage you to find a local class or attend one I offer.
Use this practice to settle your body in a
seated position on a chair, floor or support
of choice. By settling the body we can more
easily settle the mind.
Use this practice to settle your body in a
supine or lying down position. This is an
excellent choice for beginners or those who
may have higher levels of anxiety.
This practice stems directly out of my own
meditation experience. First taught at a retreat, the response was so powerful I've taught it ever since.
Uncover the sacred, beautiful light you hold within. If you struggle to believe you are enough, worthy and lovable this practice is for you.
Sama Vrtti means "equal fluctuation".
Harmonizing the inhale and exhale has
a soothing and balancing effect on both the mind and body. Aside: this is a wonderful
technique to build breath awareness in preparation for and to be used in vinyasa practices.
Another practice birthed from time on my mat. So much of our energy is burned up by emotional distress. Free yourself through this potent practice and learn to harness all energy, regardless of it's context.
Yoga Nidra, known as yogic sleep, is an invitation to deep rest in which healing and nourishment can attend to our weary bodies, minds, and spirits. This practice offers guided relaxation and releases the fountain of vitality we hold within.
An introduction to the Gayatri Mantra and it’s meaning. Please listen to this before moving to the Gayatri Mantra practice offered below.
The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most sacred in the yoga tradition and is said to be the mantra that calls the light (eternal knowing) out of darkness (ignorance) like the sun draws up over the horizon to reveal a new day, removing the covering of night and our inability to see clearly. The Gayatri Mantra invites wisdom and knowledge to shed it’s cover of ignorance and reveal the Divine within. This practice guides you, through call and response, into the mantra.
Photo Credit: Christen B Photography
WHOLE FOOD RECIPES
For the past decade, Ria has kept a free record of her favorite recipes, books, observations and musings that she shares through Return to the Garden, a blog asking the question: "What does it mean to be whole?" Her goal is to instill awareness that life is more than simply waking up, traversing the trials of the day, and hitting the pillow with a sigh at night. Deep within each of us there is the sense we were created for more than this - that life is meant to be enjoyed, cherished, and abundant in gratitude.