Hey, what's up guys. It's about 12pm in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This post features a poolside meditation for us and a quick recap of how life is like in this country. FYI: I'm really working on maintaining a consistent weekly FB live broadcast to stay connected with everyone. To keep sharing yoga and meditation from all over the world.
Let's see what I'm doing the meditation next to:
[[View of the pool]]
Right now, we're staying at a family member's place right next to the Mekong River.
[[View of the Mekong River]]
Here's the pool-side showers. There's at least 18 floors in this condo complex. It's pretty crazy. The way the architecture is set up, no matter where you are staying you can see the pool from above. It's almost like staying in Las Vegas!
This pool looks very big, but it's extremely shallow. Towards the end of the pool it gets slightly deeper, but you can still stand up! The water ends up at chest level. They need to add some kind of rough grip on the floor so we don't slip. It feels like we're doing the Nordic Track trying to walk on the floor to other parts of the pool.
It's nice and gorgeous here, but honestly, if you look outside the condo entrance, there's a lot of dirt and rocks with run-down shacks. Never for a moment do I take this for granted, that we have this unique opportunity to stay with family, and that they have amenities for us. It makes me think that Oakland wasn't that bad!
I'm doing a guided meditation by the pool. Meditating near large bodies of water, like pools, lakes, rivers, and beaches feel really amazing. It just deepens the experiences this way. If this helps you feel good, too, then we'll both benefit from this practice. This will be a short meditation, to get some consistency in.
[Tweet "I'm doing a guided meditation by the pool. Meditating near large bodies of water, like pools, lakes, rivers, and beaches feel really amazing. It just deepens the experiences this way."]
Speaking of consistency, I will explain in science-y terms why it's beneficial to stick to a consistent practice. Whether it's a few minutes everyday or if you choose to do a frequency of a few days a week. It deals with neuro-connections and pathways.
Find a comfortable seat for yourselves, whether it's in your car, at work, at home. Find a place where you'll be uninterrupted for about 5 whole minutes. Just 5 minutes.
You can sit on your meditation cushion, or on your bed if you're getting ready to sleep. Take a cross-legged seat. If you can take a Lotus Pose, you can take it here. Otherwise, if you've never done Lotus before, don't try that yet. Just practice a half lotus pose, or a normal cross-legged seat where you can remain still for 5 uninterrupted minutes.
As I always say about meditation, the purpose is not to make the thoughts go away, or to force your mind to be clear. It is a good practice in observing your thoughts, whether they're serving a purpose that you need right now, or if it's just a recurring thought about the past or future that isn't really happening right now.
[Tweet "Meditation is a good practice in observing your thoughts, whether they're serving a purpose that you need right now, or if it's just a recurring thought about the past or future that isn't really happening right now."]
Once you have a comfortable seat, relax your palms in your lap with the palms facing up, or relax them face down on your knees. Root your sits bones down, pull the belly back, lengthen the spine and draw the shoulders back as you lift the chest and extend the arms forward. This creates space for your lungs to expand and circulate more oxygen.
When you're ready, close your eyes. Deep inhale through your nose, then exhale a nice audible sigh. Full breath in, sigh it out. Full breath in, sigh it out.
If you can imagine the sounds of the water in a swimming pool, direct your attention to the sounds. With this style of meditation, I ask you to direct your focus to one thing, then gently direct it towards your thoughts, knowing those thoughts will not go away. As much as those thoughts can be bugging you, just know that they will not go away.
Gently bring your attention to the water, then to the thoughts. Practicing with some patience, a bit of stillness. Goodness knows, we have so much on our plates right now. Whether it's work, family or anything in between. When you can practice the skill of being able to reduce your reactivity to your thoughts and the dumb things that people say or do (to you or around you), you can protect your body from the stress. Reducing the risk of your heart beat racing or feeling undue pain from pressure. Calming your body in the midst of all that's going on.
Silently, in your mind, count to ten. Count at your own pace.
Slowly roll the inhales right into your exhales (smooth like water)
Roll the exhales right into your inhales. Go at your own pace for the count of 10.
As we steady our breath, notice what it is about water that can be so soothing and relaxing for us. Is it that water can flow around obstacles like jagged rocks, flow over dirt, or through sand. Is it that water can find equilibrium no matter what's in its path. Or does it bring a sense of cleanliness, refreshment? Maybe it just brings a nice and chill sound, that makes you feel a little more chill yourself.
Notice what thoughts may be coming up now.
Allow the thoughts to pass on by. It's like being at a grocery store, and the cashier is scanning your items and passing it by, this is like you and your thoughts. Take a mental note of what the thought is, and allow it to pass on through.
Notice what kind of cleansing or flowy type of thought you'd like to marinate in before you go to bed tonight. Or what pervasive thought was kicking around about handling something that you realize you need to take care of soon.
From here, take a deep breath in through the nose. Sigh it out the mouth. Full breath in. Sigh it out. Full breath in...sigh it out...
Brush your thumbs and fingertips together. Roll the shoulders back. Start to wake your body back up.
Begin to blink your eyes open. Take a nice view of this water.
So, now that we've finished a nice and short meditation, I turn it to you guys:
How did this meditation work for you? Was it challenging? Or did you feel overall relaxed? You can comment below or just write it down for your personal record-keeping.
[Tweet "How did this meditation work for you? Was it challenging? Or did you feel overall relaxed? You can comment below or just write it down for your personal record-keeping. "]
With meditations like this, it is definitely a practice. In the beginning, I treated meditation like a band-aid.. only waiting for shit to hit the fan before doing the activity. It's more beneficial to practice it when things are chill, so that when things get challenging, you can continue practicing through those moments.
Here's the recording of the FB live broadcast in our private group (which you can join here if you haven't already!)
Let me know how that meditation was for you! Comment below!