The gradual coming together of my Yoga and Chi Running learning is a constant source of delight. On Monday morning I went along to the mindfulness meditation session at the Community Centre. It's quite a new group and sitting still type meditation is something I've never done before on a regular basis (I'm a terrible fidget). It's very different to the total immersion of retreats, and excellent for getting a much clearer focus on the importance of practice.
This week we did a guided mediation in which we were asked to focus on the sounds around us. It was quite remarkable how that shift of attention changed the world. Suddenly I could hear my tummy quietly going about its business, the cars outside, laughter in a distant corridor. As the focus deepened, the ticking of the clock disappeared and I could hear the breathing of my fellow meditators, everyone breathing in a different way. It was good to feel that connection through breathing.
I was very aware of the difference between noticing a sound, naming it and judging it. I think that might be the first time I've been able to deconstruct my thoughts in that way and it's something that I really need to practice, my thoughts tumble and leap like mad things.
I went out for a run this morning - my first since getting a chest infection which I've struggled to shake off. It was a lovely morning and I headed off down to the beach with no trace of wind - it was coming from the South West so the beach was quite calm. I saw no one this morning until I got onto the road, just pink clouds and many birds.
About 10 minutes in I had to remove my headphones. I wanted to hear the sounds around me. It wasn't a conscious thing but I know where it came from. I could hear my breathing - a bit more laboured than usual but I was breathing! There was the sound of the sea quite calm today after all the recent excitement. As I ran up the hill past the golf course, I heard the babbling brook and the sound of the birds in their full spring voice. I heard pigeons coo, oystercatchers shriek and curlews do that amazing curlew thing that we all love.
Like in the meditation class, I heard the noises round me and let them go as I ran on, running through the soundscape, leaving the sounds and the associated thinking behind me as I ran.
I went farther than I meant to and managed just over 4 miles. It was slow with a walk up a hill and I incorporated my 'skipping along the road' routine aimed at trying to get some bounce back into these old legs. I must look bonkers but it's quite nice to be a bit Tiggerish at times!
A shower and a good Yoga session to finish it off and I was at the desk at 9am ready to change the world.
Life is good!
Have a great Wednesday!