Awhile back (pre-covid) when I was spending a lot of time travelling far & wide to Train with or Practice/Discuss all things Yoga & Meditation with great teachers (not all of them taught Yoga in the form Postures!) – One in particular taught Yoga through conversation…..
I was so grateful to be at one of the worlds biggest Yoga & Music Festivals – Wanderlust in Lake Tahoe. I had the pleasure of speaking with one of my favourite DJ’s – MOBY about his experiences with Yoga & Meditation.
MOBY was speaking about what he had termed “The Goldie locks Approach to Everything” i.e. learning how to approach your practice in a way that was “not too much”, “not too little” but “just right”.
Finding the ‘Middle Path’ for me in my own practice has been one of the biggest challenges. When first beginning Yoga & Meditation I would often be distracted by trying to figure out which path is the right path. And I guess that’s why I guess this Goldie Locks idea resonated in some sense to me as I went from bowl to bowl tasting many different traditions to see which one was going to be “just right” for me.
In the beginning I become confused and pre-occupied with other people’s opinions and convictions of their way being the ‘authentic’ or ‘right’ way to practice Yoga & Meditation.
Hearing of the humble beginnings of Moby’s search for a practice to help ease anxiety & find ways to cope with personal struggles inspired me to ask myself some questions about my own Yoga & Meditation practice and look back to see what really was “just right” for me. MOBY also shared some great tips for finding the “Middle Path” which I have shared for you further below:
GREAT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE
* Are you ‘conforming’ to a tradition because you think that other people must know the ‘answer’ and you don’t?
I know for me every time I have placed more importance and spent more time on what other people thought I missed out on the wisdom of my own experience. Ultimately this lead to suffering as I was moving toward ‘blind’ faith and further away from the clarity of my own heart.
* Are you giving up your SOUL (the things that make you ‘shine’) just for the sake of ‘tradition’?
– For example, locking the dog outside the meditation room so it doesn’t come in and ‘disturb’ your seated meditation practice, maybe playing with the dog is the practice!
OR doing an extra hour of asana practice letting your dinner go cold that your partner has prepared for you, maybe eating dinner with your partner is your practice! It is in those times where our formal Yoga or Meditation Practice
(becomes “to much” and our Daily life ‘off the mat’ practice becomes too little that we need to come back to finding the union between the two. In my experience this is when everything feels “Just Right”
* Are you sacrificing your personal ‘experience’ to stay true to tradition because you feel you are not good enough or your experience is not good enough?
Moby shared a familiar passage –
“Do not believe just because you heard it
Do not believe just because you read it
Do not believe just because it has been handed down as tradition Believe only once you have had an experience of it”
The only TRUTH you know is your own experience!
“The goal of your practice is not to serve tradition, it’s to serve YOU!”
In hearing this one sentence reminded me of the importance of keeping a check on how I approach my physical practice and my mental practice but more so question how am I using my practice to inform my daily life.
Is what I am doing informed by SELF LOVE?
“Why are people hurting themselves, in the interest of spirituality” ?
Why would you go further in the pose just because someone tells you to (including the voice of your own ego!) Believe it or not one of my worst injuries was in sitting meditation. The pain in my right knee is still with me to this day because of my literal & rigid take on the directions I was given about not moving on one of my first silent meditation retreats. Instead of listening to the wisdom of my body who was saying get out of this freaking lotus pose and find a more appropriate position – I ‘ignored’ and ultimately learned that ‘ignorance’ creates suffering!
SO HERE IS SOME MINDFULNESS TIPS FROM MOBY:
1. Realise that ‘self-criticism’ is not noble
2. Mindfulness is not ‘self-denial’
3. Don’t do anything that makes you frown
After Moby shared his Goldie Locks Approach to Everything I was speaking with him about shared experiences regarding the tendency to let yourself get ‘tossed’ about by other prescriptions of what the “right” way to practice Yoga or to Meditate is.
I mentioned to him what stood out in what he had just shared is that as Teacher/Student how empowering it is when you are ‘allowed’ to have your own experience and the best question he asked was this:
WHAT IF YOUR “PRACTICE” OF YOGA & MEDIATION WAS JUST DOING THE THINGS THAT BRING YOU JOY?
LIKE…. * Playing with your puppy!
Yoga NRG & Mindfulness Training Australia ©