A Downward Look

Seen from above, the sky
Is deep. Clouds float down there,

Foam on a long luxurious bath.
Their shadows over limbs submerged in “air”,

Over protuberances, faults,
A delta thicket, glide. On high, the love

That drew the bath and scattered it with salts

Still radiates new projects old as day,
And hardly registers the tug

When, far beneath, a wrinkled, baby hand
Happens upon the plug.

James Merrill

CultFit Mind Body Soul


(e)Strecho

Look around you. Everything changes. Everything on this earth is in a continuous state of evolving, refining, improving, adapting, enhancing…changing. You were not put on this earth to remain stagnant-

There is much more to yoga than twisting into poses on a sweaty, $95 Prana Revolution yoga mat early one Sunday morning.

Quick example, one of the ways of applying yogic principles away from our mat is by developing non-attachment, focusing on what we are doing in the moment Practicing not getting caught up in the drama and uncertainty swirling around us. When we practice yoga in class, we are reminded to breathe into the movement, release tension, surrender, disconnecting our mind from discomfort. Practicing non-attachment away from our practice allows us to disconnect our mind, from wanting “things” to be different and worrying about the future. Our mind(s) is then free to stretch, explore, and tap their true creativity.

Is complete non-attachment in today’s world realistic? Are you reading this post on your iPhone? Our innate sense of control is an illusion at times. Disappointment in life is inevitable, although pursuing and actively seeking to develop a strong practice of non-attachment can help us realize that we don’t have to choose to get stuck, mired in a bog of cynicism and hopelessness.

Notes:

Hidden within our narrow focus, among the 8 Limbs of Yoga, lies ishvara-pranidhana, which is a way to explore staying connected to something larger than ourselves. Non-attachment is just one varietal of surrender, where we recognize no one can truly control the events of our day or other people in our lives.

CultFit Roots


F(low)

Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow-

I’ve managed to stay relatively injury free this year by self-imposing a balance between unexciting “things” and exciting “things“.  At home and away from my play outdoors I limit my larder to unexciting events – cleaning up, emptying the dish washer and mowing the yard.

Lately I’ve realized I need to apply the same approach to all areas of my life. I tend to gravitate towards highly stimulating play, conversation and work the way I gravitate toward fine wine and delectable treats. I spoil myself with action, and going too hard physically. I often fail at times to seek flow, the high-stimulation thrill of doing at exciting speed whatever I feel like. To keep myself from becoming jaded, I need to compensate for my highly stimulated actions by deliberately cultivating my ability to find stillness, awareness and comfort.

Notes:

My trick? Mindfulness exercise: Sitting in a quiet place as I intently watch my breath. A stimulating thought arises in my mind from a recent conversation with a close friend. I gently say “This is just a thought – A wish” . Mindfulness practice keeps my body and mind focused. How do you find balance between unexciting and exciting – I’m curious?!?

One last note, Love helps as well

CultFit Love


Thought(S)

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people-

We tend to naturally treat some of our thoughts as superior to others. Moment of honesty folks – All of us at one time or another believed we were smarter and superior to those around us At times these intuitions guide us fairly well and during other times, rather poorly. Gather around if you like, as I lament, once again about honing our intuition and judgment

As much as we tend to think our perfect little lives are well – perfect. Our intuitions and actions have evolved, we have learned subtle adaptations honed slowly to fit the “imperfect” world we live in.

Touching on mindfulness once again I firmly believe mindfulness is best cultivated through critical thinking, through taking inventory of our weaknesses, the places where we’re naturally prone to misinterpret reality.  Thinking Slowly and Diligently rather than Fast and Easy. I – We automatically favor thinking fast, it’s what we have been programmed to do after all! We favor the path of least resistance, although with practice we can make the harder path easier That’s why we do what we do right? We meditate because its easy, we perform yoga because we are super flexible, we max out the leg abductor machine because its easy, we write touching blog posts about painful situations we are too scared to confront in real life, it’s why we argue with loved ones via text than face to face, held close – The easier path

Mindfulness practice is easy. Breathing is just being. It takes courage to let go of a pesky thought, the ability to say, “I’m thinking way too much about this” and to ultimately – let go, surrender.

Notes:

I wish more people would allow mindfulness to expose the “sad but true” moments in their lives. I passionately do … Be well today and please take care.

CultFit Thoughts


Decidir V. Decidido

If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart-

If through practicing mindfulness, we practice letting go of thoughts – hopefully? We need another practice for letting thoughts in, getting comfortable with threats from soccer moms, the risks associated with yoga class, discouraging and difficult thoughts during a recent early morning run. We need to exercise our ability to comprehend the tedious, harsh and more discouraging thoughts we encounter during the day more so than blasting reps and sets in a gym. Without ever practicing letting thoughts in? We tend to interpret the world through the lens of easy, wishful thinking

We need to be brave enough to take our shoes off, expose our knackered and worn toenails to step confidently into dark, discouraging and confusing waters in our quests for uncertain gratification. 

It’s not enough to be able to dismiss all the “thoughts” we process and return to the here and now as “mindfulness” practice encourages. Seriously folks – Please read the last sentence again. This is where many people get mindfulness wrong, horribly wrong: Mindfulness practice is most attractive and helpful to people who succumb to the weight of negative thoughts and feelings.

Consider that most often mindfulness is meant to discourage, discouragement.

You may be able to tell I am clearly frustrated with the current view, adopted by so many in regards to mindfulness. The power of neutral-thinking, an ability to, in effect pre-grieve the possibilities of not having the latest yoga fashion(s) so that we aren’t scared of living without them, limbering our minds much the way we learn to breathe into and surrender to the searing burn of a stretched hamstring during chair pose.

Notes:

By letting thoughts in, we have already visited failure, humiliation and injury. We are prepared to contemplate deeply even when it’s not cool or trendy. Here’s the harsh truth that many yogis, blog posts and tired yoga magazine articles fail to provide us: Mindfulness practice is not believing you can ward off undesirable outcomes by not thinking about them.

CultFit Color


Light Rides

Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized-

Can we all agree that some of the posts here are rather cheeky at times, silly, wasted, pointless? Who wants to talk about authenticity, forgiveness, spirituality, mindfulness?

The best gift you can ever give those you love, and those who care deeply about you, is a healthy “you“. Sounds cheesy, right? Seriously, I thought having a chiseled body doing yoga and performing 1000+ crunches a day was well enough, but a healthy “you“?

Consider for one fleeting moment this morning what I am suggesting. If you are as healthy as you can be, in both mind and spirit, you will be the best possible version of yourself. Less time talking about failed run times, painful yoga sessions and more energy devoted to exploring the world with others.

We could talk about knowing our personal limit(s), making the best use of our time and energy while maintaining a healthy relationship with our body … But this topic is dull and painfully tedious?!?

Quite possibly the greatest gift you can ever offer yourself is not running a marathon or becoming a yoga teacher. Accepting yourself, right now, with no make up, pink bunny slippers and all, is so very powerful … Maybe not as powerful as doing 103 sun salutations in a row, but close enough?!?

Notes:

When you offer your true, whole self to whatever(*), in both mind and spirit? … Boring stuff right?

CultFit Direction

* (I figuratively and literally mean whatever: relationships, sex, fixing a flat tire, running … whatever.)


Do Whutchya Like

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful-

What is THE WORST training tool we have available to use?  Our eyes …

Our eyes mislead us while our best training tool and the one seldom used  is our Mind.

CultFit This

The images our eyes capture play a large role in how we organize our perceptions.  If you are capable of daydreaming at work?!?  Then you can learn how to visualize and meditate.

Let’s start early this morning for good measure:

· A good way to start is to simply think about your home or apartment.
· Imagine that you are standing outside and looking at your front door.
· Describe your door in detail (aloud).  What color is the door?  What is the shape of the door handle?   How high is the door?  What does it sound like if you knock on it?
· The part of your mind that you are using to describe the door is the part we use for visualization.
· Now, imagine your door in a different color.  First blue, then red, etc.  Use your imagination and pretend if you need to.  The more you can pretend the better your imagination will be.

Like many “things” in our lives, we forget as we age.  Hand a thoughtful little dude a Matchbox car and watch what happens …

The Workout-

There are literally millions of yoga poses, trillions is actually more actuate of a number.  Try this:  Stand on one foot, hand on the hip of the leg firmly planting you to the ground, your other hand picking at your ear vigorously (keep picking until you find something).  Let’s call this pose: CultFita Hasta Padangustasana

True, passionate yoga practice has Nothing to do with the poses.

So on that lovely note, today is a Rest Day.  You are free to obsess over your killer pose … We will be going for a Walk and focusing/visualizing on proper breathing?!? <— Hint – Hint

Notes:

Thank you to the peeps who took a second to “Subscribe to our feed” yesterday.  For your convenience HERE is the link again.  You can also follow us on The Twitter Machine Rest assured we will not pester you with self-absorbed crap via a random “tweet”.

Be well today and ENJOY!!!

For more awesome work by Dain Fagerholm … Head over to DAiN8

CultFit This 1