But other requirements of the 200-hour training were a bit more challenging. Two days each week, we were encouraged to live the yogic lifestyle...eating vegetarian meals, avoiding technology such as TV and the Internet and meditating for at least 10 minutes a day. The first two requirements presented challenges each week. Like many people today, I rely on the Internet for communication and information. Thus, I am not sure I ever truly achieved the yogic lifestyle for 48 hours each week. But meditating _ and keeping a journal for one month _ was by far the most difficult thing for me
I had trouble finding the right place and position for meditating, which is supposed to be done in a small, quiet space away from kids and pets (dogs are notorious for sniffing you while you lay prone with your eyes closed and my yellow Lab Cali was no exception.) Our teacher suggested that many people like to meditate in closets, so I finally settled on my walk-in closet, where I would lay and try to quiet my mind. They say when you pray you listen to the word of God and when you meditate you listen to your own voice. I would have to agree. I had some wonderful and surprising revelations while meditating, though mostly it seemed like work _ at times very hard work.
Though I practiced yoga for years before deciding to become an instructor, I had no idea that meditation was the actual foundation of yoga. Monks developed yoga's asanas, or postures, thousands of years ago so they would be able to meditate for long stretches without becoming uncomfortable. If you doubt the need for the postures, try sitting in a simple cross-legged position for 10 minutes with your eyes closed.
Now that I don't have to meditate nor am required to keep a journal, I find myself doing it every day. We're at Martha's Vineyard now and the beach, with its crashing waves and wonderful cooling breezes, is the ideal spot to let my mind go free. There are often no startling revelations, but that's OK. After months of resistance, it's part of my daily routine. And I want to keep it that way.