Let me start this off by saying I am not a yogi, nor am I a master of the subconscious – or any other level of consciousness for that matter. U of T’s new yoga and meditation programming is inclusive and inviting, and all you need in order to participate is your presence.
Yoga and meditation are available across campus five days a week at a variety of times to suit our crazy schedules. It’s drop-in programming so you can go as often or as seldom as you like. If it’s Wednesday, 5:15 p.m. and you’re thinking you’re done for the day, you can pop over to the Goldring Centre and join the “Yoga and Meditation” session which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It’s flexible – in more than just the obvious sense.
That’s the session I had the pleasure of attending this week. It was held in the dance studio/multi-purpose room on the top tier of the Goldring Centre’s strength and conditioning centre. I’d never been in that space before and oh how I wanted to dance! It’s so bright and open, with a wall of mirrors that I could think of many ways to exploit.
Last week I wrote about being ill, and I speculated that (in addition to cold weather and a nasty cough virus circulating in the air) my sickness was due to being out of touch with my body. It happens every once in a while when we get so busy that it can be a challenge to keep tabs on how we are (really) feeling and what our body (really) needs.
I mentioned to a friend in passing this week that I sometimes attend Mindful Moments sessions on campus to get better connected with my body. He giggled, and said that he imagines me sitting cross-legged with my eyes closed, deeply concentrating on foretelling the future. I think at some point my friend was misinformed—mindfulness, meditation, tai chi, or yoga are not activities done to prophesize about the future. Quite oppositely, the goal is to bring more awareness to the present moment, to the body, and the breath.
A storm had been ravaging my mind lately. It had been swirling and churning for the past few days, screaming at me during every moment of the day to study, study, STUDY, and so on Thursday night, instead of tackling the pile of work sitting at my desk, I decided to go to the weekly Chan Meditation session held at the Multi-Faith Centre.