• Yoga

    My 30-Day Mantra Meditation Experience

    Meditation is a buzzword right now, and understandably so because it is a great practice for a variety of reasons. I’m not going to go into depth about the benefits of meditation because, as evident in the title of this post, I’ve only been meditating for more or less, 30 days. Instead of me discussing meditation at length, I’ll just link y’all with some great posts to check out if you want to learn more about it at the end of this post.

    I was inspired to meditate because I’ve been deepening my yoga practice and I am going to train to become a teacher in about three months, and meditation is critical to the yoga practice, especially if I anticipate teaching at some point. So I decided to attempt a 40-day mantra meditation challenge, hosted by the Journey Junkie.

    You are supposed to do 40 consecutive days of meditation to ensure you build a habit of meditation, and for mantra meditation, you have to say the mantra 108 times. People hypothesize that 108 is significant because 1= God or a Higher Power, 0= Emptiness or Completeness, 8= Infinity. 108 is significant for other reasons, but you can read more about that on the Journey Junkie’s post that I linked above.

    In order to ensure that you are repeating your mantra 108 times, it is helpful to have a mala necklace. Mala necklaces have 108 beads, plus the guru bead (which you don’t use for the meditation) and tassel (not all malas have tassels though). When you use the mala to do a mantra meditation, it is called japa mala meditation, because japa means repetition.

  • Yoga

    Yoga Gear Haul!

    My girlfriend wanted to go to TJ Maxx to get new slippers, but we ended up buying a bunch of items, except for slippers. (She didn’t get slippers because they didn’t have what she wanted).

    I wasn’t even going to buy anything, but then I went to the yoga section and I helplessly got sucked in because they had several items that I had been wanting to purchase for a while.

    In March, I became interested in Mysore rugs because I was trying to figure out a way to prevent slippage while practicing. Slippage can happen in poses like downward facing dog or in lunges. Mysore rugs are common in Ashtanga yoga, which is one of the branches of Hatha yoga, and they were used before yoga mats were developed in the 1960s. People still use them today, particularly in India. Some use them either on top of a yoga mat or on its own, and you can get some reasonably priced ones on Amazon.

    A popular western alternative is yoga towels, which is what I bought for less than $15 at TJ Maxx. They are not eco-friendly, unlike Mysore rugs. I feel conflicted about my purchase because of this, but I also loved the texture of it and I wanted to try it. I still would like to invest in a Mysore rug though, but perhaps another time.