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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The One Minute Vacation

We all love vacations! The word "vacation" comes from the Latin word vacare meaning "to be empty or free". Taking vacations is an important part of our life. We tend to give so much of our time to our professions and our routines that to break it up a few times a year is an essential part of our mental health strategy. Taking time to empty ourselves of tension and stress, to let go of our routine and practice a greater sense of freedom is all part of the ritual known as vacation.

You know that saying, "As above, so below"? I enjoy exploring the macrocosm and the microcosm. In this case, the macrocosm is the typical year in your life that includes a summer vacation and a winter vacation. Now we can take that down into the microcosm which is a typical day. Giving yourself time twice per day to "be on vacation" is again part of a good mental health approach to life. The question becomes, how do I get to Florida and back twice per day? Or, if I live in Florida, "how do I get to Nova Scotia and back twice per day"?

The truth is, we do not have to go anywhere to touch the emptiness and the freedom that is at the heart of the vacation experience. Yoga and meditation are phenomenal tools to introduce us to the micro-vacation. Like a vacation meditation requires a little bit of planning like making sure that you won't be interrupted; unless of course you do get interrupted and then that interruption becomes part of your meditation. For one minute you break all routine, there are no have to's or should's, there is only space. Now, the mode of travel is the breath. Your breath is like the airliner that will carry you to your destination which is no destination at all. The micro-vacation takes practice but in 60 second segments, even you can afford it.

Close your eyes and begin to be very aware of your breathing, in and out through the nose. Sit up straight and let the shoulders fall down and away from your ears. Feel all the sensations in your body as you pay less attention to the thoughts that rise and fall in the mind. Trade thinking for feeling. Incorporate a great sense of relaxation into your micro-vacation. Enjoy yourself....enjoy your SELF.

Namaste,

Steve
Yogi Jayanta

I am always fond of exploring the microcosm and the macrocosm, you know(vacations twice per year)

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