Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped spread the practice of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East, died on January 22, 2022 at the age of 95. Although he wasn’t personally one of my main teachers, indirectly his small and gentle presence and teachings reverberated out into the world in such a large and powerful way. That is the power that Mindfulness practices offer to each and every human. The practice of staying present to breath, to body sensations, to how we are feeling, to what we are thinking IS the practice and the way to freedom, peace and happiness.
This is why I love practicing and teaching yoga and movement. It gives us the opportunity to actively and consciously practice this type of presence. According to the dictionary, the word Practice is defined as; to perform or do habitually or usually. That means creating a new habit by showing up for yourself again and again. I have heard so many people say “I can’t meditate my mind is too busy”, Our minds are busy and it’s the practice of mindfulness that allows you develop presence. If you have the discipline at home or in your daily life to meditate, do you yoga, Qigong or another mindfulness practice that’s wonderful! If you don’t, then join a class for a little support. When you join a class or group to practice mindfulness, not only do you get a safe container that allows you to practice and develop a new habit, you also get the additional benefit of group energy or consciousness that strengthens the field and your ability to “keep up” as one of my teachers used to say.
This winter my husband and I took a brake from our winter travels, so I am here in Hot Springs, SD offering yoga at my favorite place, Moccasin Springs. Come enjoy yoga and a soak and refresh yourself. You can join a class Friday-Sunday from 9:30-10:30am every week. Friday mornings will be a more gentle movement class. Saturday morning a little more active, then on the Sundays that I teach (2nd and 4th unless I am out of town) I will be offering Kundalini Yoga. No matter what class you attend or with which ever teacher is there, you will get the opportunity to practice mindfulness, which is what yoga is really all about. It’s not just a class to stretch the muscles which is often a common misconception in the west. Yes, your muscles get stretched, you get stronger, gain balance, expand your lung capacity, calm your nervous system and more, but most importantly you become present with yourself. You will learn through mindfulness who you are, and eventually learn to love and accept yourself exactly as you are! That is the gift of mindfulness how we heal ourselves and the planet.
New at Moccasin Springs this low season, I will be offering a monthly “Gong Bath” the second Sunday of the month at 11am for 30 minutes. A Gong Bath is an ancient, multi-dimensional form of sound healing meditation that washes vibrations through the body and around the energic field of the participant. Described by Gong Master Don Conreaux, “the gong is known as an instrument of transformational power” and translates to “an engine of power releasing tone resonance and complex harmonics that are transferred to the recipient.” A gong bath calms the nervous system allowing you to completely relax and will usually leave you feeling refreshed. * Participants in these sacred sound healing meditations may experience one or all of these; intensely introspective or expanded cosmic awareness, often fusing into some combination of the two while helping you shed that which does not serve you. To this end, some people to a lesser degree have described an uncomfortable feeling which is usually a result of moving stagnant energies. Participants are encouraged to lay in complete stillness to allow the vibrations the opportunity to create an effect of healing on your body, mind, and spirit.