Dear Beautiful Yogi,
I was introduced to meditation by the brilliant Erich Schiffmann back in 1996, during my first yoga teacher training. I had recently moved back to Marin after college at U.C. Santa Barbara and a trip to India to practice ashtanga in Mysore. My local studio asked me to take their first ever yoga teacher training being led by Erich who was traveling up to the Bay Area to lead it.
To this day I remember this training period as one of the best times of my life. In all of my years of school, I had never loved learning like I loved learning in yoga teacher training. My thirst for knowledge and practice was insatiable. I never missed a single day of that course. I couldn’t read enough about yoga, nor was it possible to assign me too much homework!! I soaked up every ounce of that experience.
Erich offered us several different meditation techniques and the one which I used for years was a simple counting meditation which I in turn have taught to students who find other methods difficult. This was during a time when basically no one was teaching meditation in the yoga studios. Yoga and meditation had been mostly separated which of course is truly ridiculous because meditation is an essential aspect of a complete yoga practice.
He used the “traffic helicopter analogy” to explain why meditation was so powerful and helpful to every day life. It went like this:
“Imagine you’re on your way to work one day and not sure which route is the best one to take. If you had access to a traffic helicopter flying up above, you would have a bigger view and could see the whole picture. The traffic helicopter can see where there is an accident up ahead and can see the alternate routes that are clear. If you could communicate with the traffic helicopter it would tell you how to avoid the accident and which side streets to take to go around it.”
“Meditation is like your connection to the traffic helicopter which is actually the intelligence of the universe. When you sit and get quiet every day, you connect to something within yourself and something greater at the same time. You can trust your own inner wisdom and your own intuition the more connected you are. That wisdom helps you make better decisions and go around the traffic accidents.”
Yes, that is truly how it works. Instead of making decisions based on fears or assumptions or unconscious patterns, we can make decisions that feel right moment to moment. Meditation facilitates that kind of awareness of ourselves and our choices.
During this training Erich published his book “Yoga, The Spirit And Practice Of Moving Into Stillness“. I will share with you his opening words on page one, because they forever resonate when I read them:
“The purpose of yoga is to facilitate the profound inner relaxation that accompanies fearlessness. The release from fear is what finally precipitates the full flowering of love. In this state you will love what you see in others, and others will love you for having been seen. This is the softened perception of the world that yoga promotes.
Therefore, the apparently simple benefits that accrue from the regular practice of yoga can change your life in very profound ways. Do not underestimate the value of being balanced, centered, and coordinated, of being strong and light, of being more flexible, without pain, experiencing the subsequent feelings of invisibility or transparency, and of being more sensitive…
Yoga will make you sensitive to the stillness, the presence, the hush, the peace of God. This deep inner stillness is at the core of your being. It is the ground, the joy of your being. The radiant peace you’ll experience is what happens naturally when the creative energy of God is allowed to flow through you unobstructed.”
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to carve out a little space in your day to get still and tune in. You won’t regret it. It will help you in countless ways. Here is a free 10 minute guided meditation: 10 Minute Meditation
Love & Yoga,
Having the right support to sit comfortably in meditation is essential. Most people need a little bit of lift so the pelvis tips, spine aligns and the hips and legs are comfortable. My favorite bolster which I sit on every morning is artisan-crafted by Chattra. Their Pranayama bolster is the perfect height for my hips. I leave it on my yoga mat for my daily sitting practice. Use code NIKKILOVE for 10% all orders in the U.S at www.chattra.com. Cannot be combined with any other offers.
My Seasonal Mentorship Program is starting now in kapha season. How we practice, what we eat, the daily habits and choices we make, ideally should ebb and flow with the seasons. The little everyday things have a big effect on us, they add up. Modern life may appear to overrule nature, but it honestly doesn’t. Mother nature is powerful and we are a part of her and she a part of us. Aligning with the seasons in everything we do helps us to live more positive, healthy, and vibrant lives.
Are you ready to practice yoga in a comprehensive way? Are you ready to extend the feel-good energy you get from yoga class well beyond the savasana high? If you are, then set up a call with me to find out how. I can explain the program and how the 4 pillars of yoga can help: body, breath, mind and diet.
My schedule is here, I would love to talk with you.