A 40 Day Practice

Kundalini Yogis love their multi-day practices. Some commit to a 40 day practice but others commit to 90, 120, or even 1000 days. 1000 days equals 2.7 years and if you miss a single day of practice, you have to start over at day 1. Wow, what a great motivator to not miss a day! Especially once you get a ways into it. When I did my teacher training in Kundalini Yoga, I did a 40 day practice. That was a number of years ago and I do not remember a lot about it; other than really committing to myself seemed to be the hardest part. I now feel compelled to again do another 40 day practice.

During our retreat we did a very motivational YouTube video of Nahbi Kriya. I had already been feeling drawn to start a 40 day practice of this yoga set, so when we did it together that Friday night on the boat, I knew I had to keep going. Emy and I decided we’d both commit to a 40 day practice. We text each other each day as we check off completing our practice for the day. Tonight I completed day #12 and that puts me a little over 1/4 of the way to the finish line. According to 3HO, a 40 day practice, “Will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the kriya or mantra”.

There are days that seem more difficult and some days when it takes every ounce of my strength to begin again. The thought of having to start over at day 1 again though,  gets me onto my mat and fulfilling my commitment to myself. I have learned some things along the way already, and one is that I am a driven person. I am not good at sitting and resting. I always want to get to the goal as quickly as possible. As I reflect on the 40 day commitment, I realize that I can’t rush this. 40 days is 40 days! I can’t do it 2 or 3 times today to get to the goal sooner. I have to commit to myself and complete each day and then patiently wait for the arrival of the next day.

Another thing I have learned, along the way, is about my nature to attempt to be perfect. My form is not always going to be perfect. Some days my practice is going to be better than others. Some days I will have time to do the full 45 minute versos and other mornings where I am needing to get to the airport; so the 25 minute version may just have to do. I have to trust that adjusting the practice to fit my life, while still maintaining the commitment to myself, is okay. I know that even if today’s best is not the same as my personal best or someone else best, that it is still okay.

Tonight’s practice was done surrounded by family. The grandchildren and a couple of the adults joined me. It was not as peaceful and meditative as it usually is when I perform it in my hotel room; with the toddler was bopping around from person to person, but tonight it was filled with joyous energy and love. Tonight I learned that I can keep commitments to myself even while spending time with those I love.

What commitments would you like to make to yourself? How would you see this taking place in your life? What do you think you might learn from it?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your life be filled with fulfilled commitments to yourself, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken on New Smyrna Beach

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Recent Retreat Experiences

I recently shared that Adventure Sisters, Emy and I, were going on a private retreat of our own making. I would like to share some of my experiences and insights from this with you. As it turned out, it was all about finding the Joy. That we not only hold in our heart, but are.

We had a schedule, we had a plan, we shopped for groceries, and prepared our space. We were excited to be together, to be in Florida and out of the snow and extreme cold. We even both expressed a bit of anxiety about the upcoming long period of silence.

As I have expressed in previous blogs; Emy and I have our sun signs across from each other in the zodiac. We often have very different perceptions about things, other times it is like we are of one mind, anticipating what the other is thinking before she even says it. The retreat was full of such dualities. What I needed, was not always what Emy needed and vise versa. When these things came up though, we navigated them with ease and love. We accepted the other for what she needed or her perspective. We allowed and loved our differences.

Silence was broken after only about 17.5 hours. We decided eating our breakfast in the morning sun would be lovely. A couple of our neighbors in the marina came over and chatted with us. We broke silence to avoid rudeness and heard some very interesting tales from neighbor retirees. Their experiences and perspectives gave us even more to reflect on and we decided that our continued silence was not really necessary.

We allowed the wind to blow us where it might. We floated without resistance on the marina waters. We took liberties with the schedule; doing the various activities as we felt called to. We had so many “ah ha” moments. Like pausing the video to discuss a concept that was lay out before us.

One of my favorite take homes, from the retreat, was the message to live in Joy! For this, Emy and I picked a symbol. Every time we see that symbol it is a reminder to be in the joy of the moment. We have been seeing it everywhere and sharing it with each other. I would encourage you to pick your own symbol to remind you to see the Joy in the present moment.

Being back in the everyday world now has been a call to be more mindful of Joy, regardless of what is happening around us. It was easy to remain joyful during the retreat. We were focused on self development and growth. We were mostly out of touch with the outside world and it’s issues. We were together. Enjoying sharing and experiencing all that was there for us, in the richness of the retreat.

The Nabhi Kriya yoga set we did, so moved us, that we have even decided to take on a 40 day practice of it. I had been feeling called to this prior to the retreat. In fact, the teachers manual, with the Kriya’s pages marked, is sitting on my bedside table at home. Patiently waiting for me to hear the call and take it on an adventure. Please feel free to join us. In the Kundalini Yoga tradition of: you miss a day you start over on day 1. Be committed to you! Remember to modify the exercises to keep yourself safe and visualize yourself doing the movements as instructed. Because the brain doesn’t know the difference between actual or powerful visualization.

Overall the retreat was lovely and joyous! It was just not what we originally expected or planned but so much more.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you find life offering you experiences, which are so much more, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in Cassadaga, FL

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