21-Day Meditation Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 2

How this Challenge Works

10 min - Talk
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We lay the groundwork on what you can expect throughout the 21-Day Meditation Challenge. We discuss why we meditate, how we will progress, the techniques we will explore, and the goals of the challenge.

Please note: We will be working with a Mala in this challenge. Please have one on hand.

What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

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Jul 01, 2017
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Hi yogis, welcome to your 21 day meditation challenge. I want to give you a little bit of an overview of the program, kind of what to expect and how it's going to all play out these 21 days. Let's talk about why meditation. Meditation is a key aspect of yoga and it's really our means of diving deeper into the self. It's a way in which we cultivate more personal self-awareness and then we actually take that out into daily living.

So this is really going to, this is going to enhance your life. That's the why of meditation, it's going to positively enhance your life. So how are we going to progress in this course? Basically the way I've laid it out is it's almost like we're starting with the gross and quite literally the body and then progressing inwards. So from gross to subtle or you can even think about it as kind of starting zooming out and then slowly over time zooming in.

So you're really well held and guided. It can be challenging when you first begin to sit. So in the beginning I'm really with you verbally a lot and then as we move along through those 21 days, my instructions will become more subtle and there'll be more spaciousness. As you get more comfortable in the process, you'll have more time to go to those internal places. So that's one way for you to experience meditation.

The techniques. So I'm going to offer you a wide range of techniques and in accordance with this idea of going from outer to inner or gross to subtle, I've really designed the layout of the techniques in the same way. So we'll begin with kind of body-based mindfulness meditation practices. Because that's so visceral and tangible for us all. Practices that, you know, meditations that really anchor you in your body.

And not only does that literally physically align your body, but in and of itself it's a meditation to start to feel your feet and to feel your bones and to align your spine. So we begin with the body and then we kind of go in towards more and more subtlety. We check in internally, we begin to focus on the breath. I offer you one of my all-time favorite counting breath meditation techniques. I used it for many years.

And then we kind of make a journey, a switch into more subtlety and actually into the techniques that come straight from the yoga tradition. So we move into the use of mantra and mantra, one definition of mantra is mind protection. And so we use mantra as a means to kind of regroup and retract our minds along a specific sound. So Sanskrit has a vibrational quality and it literally has a vibrational effect on the body. So I'm going to offer you a variety of mantras and a chance for you to actually feel the energy quality of the mantras that you are chanting.

So eventually, you know, later as we progress through the meditations, I'm going to actually bring in the mala. And you'll be using it in one hand and, you know, one bead at a time repeating the mantra. So it's, you know, it's a tactile means of keeping count and repeating your mantra. Personally, this was a leap for me in my own practice when I went from these sort of mindfulness techniques that weren't necessarily based in the yoga tradition, observation of breath and counting breath. And then when I began to use mantra and a mala, it took a bit of time to make that transition.

So I want to guide you through that and give you the opportunity to really understand and experience another way of meditating. So as we move through this challenge and enter the meditations that are mantra based, we are really tapping into a lineage of yoga. And I'm bringing you through my lineage, which is the tradition of the Nath Yogis in northern India. And it can be traced back thousands of years. I don't have an exact date, but teacher to student, teacher to student is a lineage of yogis in the tantric tradition, historically, meditation, tantric meditation is radically different than other styles.

There are hundreds, probably thousands of styles of meditation and each has its own, you know, unique benefit. There are many, many paths to the same place, but the particular orientation of a tantric meditation is one where we understand that the mind moves. I can't tell you how many times over the years I've heard people say, you know, I can't meditate. Other people can, but I can't meditate. It's too hard for me.

It's hard for everyone because the nature of the mind in and of itself is that it wants to move. And in day to day activity, it has to move. So then when we go to meditate to expect that it's suddenly easy to get still, that doesn't make sense. The mind goes. So the tantric approach is we understand the mind wants to move.

So let's give it a positive beneficial task. Let's let it move, but let's let it move in a positive way until eventually it just becomes quiet. So it's a very different approach to meditation, you know, some traditions might be aiming at literally let's get the mind still. And this is a meditative approach that's recognizing the movement of the mind. Let's move with it until it naturally becomes quiet.

So it's a very different approach. So what are the goals of this 21 day challenge? Well first and foremost, to positively enhance your life and to cultivate more self awareness. That's really the heart of yoga and meditation to cultivate self awareness. I also hope that you discover a particular technique that works for you.

There's going to be this array of technique I offer through the 21 days. And I'm hoping that at least one or two of those really, really resonates and makes meditation something you actually look forward to rather than struggle with. I'm also hoping that it's going to create a positive new habit for you. So by me being here with you these 21 days, 21 minutes, guiding you, giving you technique, the hope is that at the end of the 21 days, you've really created a habit that your mind and body even crave. So that going forward, you've got your setup, you know the technique that works for you, and you continue every single day to get on your cushion and meditate.

I also hope that it has positive ripple effects into your day to day life. Potentially more calm, more present, more self aware, removing things over time that maybe aren't helpful to you, aren't positive, aren't supportive to your overall happiness. So those are really the goals of our time together. I am so excited that you have chosen to do this challenge with me. It's a big commitment.

I'm here with you, 21 days here we come. Thank you. Until next time, have a great rest of your day.


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