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Organic Cotton Farming
Last December a couple of us from Stretch Now travelled to India where many of our organic cotton yoga and meditation props are made. We made a short video of the organic cotton farming system that shows where the raw material for our products comes from and why we use organic cotton. This Monday on June 6, we have a new shipment of yoga and meditation props arriving so get in early and preorder now while stocks last. You can view the video here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stretch-Now/154689117908297 ..
Meditation and the Mind
Anyone who has practiced meditation or is interested in practicing meditation has had to, or will have to confront the mind. What do you do with this psychic instrument called the mind that because of its activity, seemingly loves to invade, interrupt, and frankly, sometimes destroy your session of meditation? In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras he states right at the beginning of the text “yogaś-citta-vr̥tti-nirodhaḥ;” which is often translated as “Yoga, is the stilling of the modifications of the mind.” The author recognises and acknowledges that the mind, with its “modifications,” (as in thou..
Making the Time—Establishing a Meditation Practice
  I believe one of the greatest challenges in establishing a fulfilling meditation practice is related to what appears to be the simplest ingredient. Time: finding the time or making the time to meditate. Let’s face it, in 21st century life there is a scarcity of time. Without having to state the obvious I think we are all familiar with just how many demands are made on the time we have available. A meditation practice itself is another one of those demands that requires dedicated time for it to be rewarding. What I have found from my own meditation practice is that meditation t..
Creating the Space—Establishing a Meditation Practice
Recently I moved house. I had been living abroad for several years and when I returned to Australia I lived with members of my family until I found a place of my own. When I moved into my new abode, the first thing I noticed was the space: there was so much of it! I went from living in one room with all my belongings to a house with many rooms that were all empty.  I decided to dedicate one room just for meditation, and so I set up my meditation seat and accessories and began to meditate there. It wasn’t long before I began to notice that whenever I stepped into the room, I felt dr..
Don't Think of a Monkey
“An uninterrupted flow of awareness towards awareness.” This is the definition of meditation I wrote about last week. When I focus on this definition when I’m meditating, I endeavour to practice being aware of the subtle presence of awareness that exists inside me at all times regardless of what thoughts, emotions or sensory activity I may be experiencing. When we go about establishing a meditation practice and we come across a definition such as this one, it’s quite possible that we may misunderstand what is meant by the word “uninterrupted. When I first began to meditate my research l..
Meditation—Establishing a Practice
Last week I mentioned that I am going to write about some basic tips for establishing a meditation practice. However before we go into the practicalities of meditation, the first question that we need to ask is: “What is meditation?”  One classical definition that comes from the ancient Indian tradition is: “Meditation is an uninterrupted flow of awareness towards an object.” Okay, if I understand this correctly, it means that I can pretty much meditate on anything. Hmmm, then methinks I will meditate on this perfect café latte that I am just about to drink. But on a slightly more ..
Sitting On-A Zabuton
The Zabuton, known traditionally as a Japanese sitting cushion, is a wonderful support for one’s yoga and meditation practice. For meditation, the Zabuton provides two fundamental elements for obtaining deep and satisfying meditation; comfort and stability. Have you ever been in that situation when you’re going into meditation and your breath begins to even out, the activity of the mind is slowing down, and just as you’re sinking into that place of inner stillness and tranquillity, you begin to lose focus because there are pins and needles in your left foot, and they’re furtively cre..
Keeping the Joy
Okay, so I’m ready for my yoga practice. I’ve turned off my phone so I can have complete focus. I’ve rolled out my mat; blocks, straps and bolsters are ready for action, and today, I’ve  promised myself  I’m going to do better than I did in my last session. Yes! My postures are getting deeper and I achieve a new level of flexibility that I previously thought unattainable. However I am beginning to notice that more and more my yoga seems to be a bit of a chore. It’s become another one of those routine things that I do in life. Where’s the magic? Where’s my motivation gone..
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