Meditation for compassion

Laura seated in well-propped easy pose demonstrating a gently moving meditation to encourage compassion
Laura mid-way through an easy, five-minute meditation to encourage compassion

Most of us could stand to show ourselves and others a little more kindness. And I feel that need for compassion is more with the amplified sense of hatred, fear, confusion, and division that’s reflected in my social media feeds.

I ended my last online Yin Yoga class with a short meditation to encourage compassion for ourselves and others and I’ve recorded this short practice to share more broadly.

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Live online yin yoga classes!

After several weeks of pandemic-pause, I’m super excited to be teaching yin yoga again—and even more excited to be doing it online, so students can join from anywhere in the world!

I’ll be teaching on Tuesday evenings and the classes will be available for replay for 48 hours afterwards if that better suits your schedule. The first class was Tuesday, May 19th at 8pm Zürich time (see when that is where you are).

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Virtual yoga: a corona perk?

The coronavirus lockdown means that I haven’t taught yoga to anyone other than my husband in at least six weeks—and he’s getting damn tired of me telling him to exhale and relax. While I’m missing leading yin and restorative yoga classes, I have found a major upside to everyone being stuck at home: online classes from teachers all over the world!

Moving away from studios and teachers is a big downside of our peripatetic ex-pat life—but COVID-19 erases some of that distance. I’m super grateful to be attending yoga sessions with teachers I thought I might never practice with again—and to virtually bring a handful of Zürich teachers I love home with me.

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What does it mean to really rest?

Much of what we think of as ‘resting’ is pretty active. Watching Netflix, reading a book, listening to a podcast, scrolling through Instagram, paying attention to current affairs—all tasks that require our brains to be engaged and alert. It’s rare that we allow ourselves to simply be, letting the mind drift and the body be entirely idle. Even catching some zzzs isn’t the same as conscious, deliberate rest. Our brains work like crazy as we dream and our cells shift into maintenance mode while we sleep—not to mention that we wind up in all kinds of not-so-comfortable positions when we subconsciously shift in bed.

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Darkness inspires deep relaxation

This coming Saturday I’m teaching a special extra-long yoga class at Younion Yoga to mark the Winter Solstice. It’s the third year I’ve led this seasonally-driven session and I particularly love using yoga to embrace darkness on this longest night of the year. The inspiration for the practice fits perfectly with my teaching style: deliberately slow, purposely restful, mindfully self-centred, well-supported—and with a bonus literary touch. 

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A sense of savasana

“Hari om, tat sat. Hari om, tat sat. The practice of yoga nidra concludes.” 

Satisfied that the class has surrendered to the spell of my voice, I sink down to the bolster, knees out to the side, ankles crossed. From this so-called easy pose, I observe my prone students enjoying their supervised nap—but hopefully without the actual REM state. 

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