February 1st, 2021
Lena Madsen Yoga Image 1
Greetings!
I am writing this in the middle of a snow storm. It's completely white outside and the wind is intense and blowing the snow in all directions. It's easy to sit into gratitude, for the heat and power we still have in this moment. I know it can be gone at any time, all it takes is one tree that comes down due to the high winds. It is one of so many little reminders that everything is temporary, and that I have so much to be grateful for.

I listened to a webinar a couple of weeks ago regarding new research within neuroscience and mindfulness, the state of being awake and present to whatever is occurring within your reality in the present moment. I want to share one of the points that was made, as I find it both affirming and interesting. As most of you know, there is plenty of research that shows many of the beneficial effects that a practice of meditation/mindfulness has on us. It's not a question any more if this works, we know that it does. We also know that the benefits are many. But what is new in the research is that it indicates that we don't need to have a "formal" practice to harvest these benefits. In other words, we don't have to get on the mat, or sit on the cushion, to meditate. We can simply bring ourselves into the moment while doing whatever we are doing, or while doing nothing, and it's equally powerful.

Now and then in my teaching I will speak about the immense impact this "informal" practice has had on my own life. Early on I realized that my practice didn't have to stop when I stepped off my mat. On the contrary, my teacher at the time shared how the whole point is to take the practice off the mat into the rest of my day. No matter the task, I can make it a meditation by relaxing into what I am doing, opening up to what I see, hear and feel right in front of me. It can be mundane tasks as well as important ones, and activities like walking, running. It can literally be anything. What this research is affirming, is that what it has done, and still does for me personally, will happen for you as well.

Having said this, I can see that for most of us, probably the vast majority, we still need to start with a formal practice of some kind. It's simply the way we learn to be awake. To open up to whatever we choose to focus on, our body, breath, words, objects, feelings or emotions. We learn to be attentive and build concentration out of extended focus. But as soon as we get a sense of what this means, please know that meditating/being mindful at any time during your day will slowly and gradually bring you the myriad of benefits that comes with the practice. It's not less to be meditating over your laundry or while walking in nature. We simply have to remind ourselves to open up to what we are experiencing in each new moment.



"Only the present moment contains life."

Thich Nhat Hanh




Being With Dying

Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness
in the Presence of Death

by Joan Halifax

It's not too late to join me reading this book. If you are interested simply send me an email at lena@lenamadsenyoga.com, and I will send you the information about the upcoming three zoom gatherings in which we get to share our experiences from reading this important book.

 

I will be teaching all the weekly classes during February. Please note the changes in the class schedule below.

Take good care, be well, and meet me in the Zoom room,


Lena


Weekly classes via Zoom


Wednesdays:

Yoga Nidra/Guided Meditation 7:30pm - 8:15


Thursdays:

Mixed Level Class 9:00am - 10:15


Saturdays:

Level 2/3 Class 9:00am - 10:15

Free breathing practice 10:30am - 10:50


Sundays:

Mixed Level Class 9:00am- 10:15

Gentle Beginner's Class 10:30am - 11:30



The zoom ID : 355-453-9271

The passcode: 2468

This is the URL for the classes for those of you who can't download the app:





Class Exchange


Asana classes: 1st class in a week: $20 and 2nd in a week: $15

Yoga Nidra : $15


Payment options:

Zelle

CashApp

Venmo

All you need for either of these is my email: lena@lenamadsenyoga.com

If you can't use these electronic options please put a check in the mail to:

Lena Madsen

P.O. Box 845

Nyack NY 10960



To join me

Download Zoom App

Download the free "Zoom Meeting" app on the device you want to be using.

If you do not have a device on which you can download the app, you use the URL above. Your options are different if you do this, but you can still follow along.


Video on or off

You have a choice to keep your video on, or, to turn it off.


Important before class

Turn off all other devices that stream media in your home during class.

Place the device so you can see it easily from the mat for the mixed level classes. Although understand you might have to move it when we practice.


Props

I know some of you have props, but if you don't, you will be fine. Look around your home and find things that will work for you. Folded blankets or bath towels for sitting, a thick book or two for a block, especially for you that need them in a standing forward bend. A belt, tie or hand towel to use instead of a belt. Have them all ready before we start, so if you need it, you have it.