You’ve heard meditation helps you lead a saner, more productive, happier, less reactive, longer existence. Perhaps you’ve even read the loads of research on how it can change the physical and chemical composition of the brain to make this happen. Yet here you are, reading this blog because you still need to start. So, let’s do just that: start your meditation practice…right now.
By reading this, you’ve made a little pact with yourself to start the meditation discipline. And that’s the most important element: commitment. Your anti-aging cream doesn’t work unless you put it on every night; neither does meditation. All you need to do is find a tiny window of time, just like you do for any other self care. Find what works for you, my husband meditates in the morning. I’m not a morning person, so I meditate after lunch. And just like brushing your teeth, you know that you could be lazy and skip it, but you won’t. Hold yourself accountable for the first two weeks with phone reminders or the like, once you’ve got a solid foundation and start feeling the effects, you’ll wonder how you ever cheated yourself out of the benefits of meditation in the first place.
You don’t have to meditate for hours to get these benefits. In fact, just 10 minutes per day can help you absorb and retain information, and re-wire your brain to a more positive “default pathway”. What do I mean by “default pathway”, you ask? Good question. We have neurons in our brains that fire to one another to create our behaviors and reactions. The more you use a certain neural pathway, the more likely it is to become your default. If you are a negative thinker, find yourself falling into negative self-talk, feel anxious or stressed, or are often angry, that neural pathway is the path of least resistance and will become your default pathway. But don’t worry, there is hope! Regular meditation can help create positive pathways and rewire your defaults.
By now you should have an idea of where you can fit up to 10 minutes of meditation. Is 10 minutes too much, too soon? Start at 3 or 5 minutes and work your way up. Next, you’ll find what kind of meditation is most palatable. Beginners often like guided meditations, where a kind of “experience tour guide” curates your journey. Sounds luxurious, no? It is. We’ve got great guided meditations on Power Life’s YouTube channel, some of which are led by yours truly. You can also find apps like Simple Habit. I love the recordings on Do Yoga with Me, which I know I will finish less stressed than I started. If a meditation is longer than my time frame, I set a timer with a soothing tone on my phone to exit early. But be sure to never jar yourself out of a meditation. Let yourself leave the experience in a slow, happy, peaceful pace.
Meditation can also be device free (it was for thousands of years). Try something simple like slow, deep breathing with attention on that single act. That single-pointed focus is the key to meditation. My daughter loves laying in nature, closing her eyes, and listening to all of the sounds around her. Focusing on that, without distraction is meditation. Your could try laying in nature and concentrating on one element, like wind. Notice how it ebbs and flows, intensifies and recedes. Make that the only thing present in your mind, because it is the present moment, and when you think about the present, you can’t ruminate about anything else.
It is normal to feel like a meditative failure at first (we all do in the beginning, heck sometimes I still do). Your job is to observe your mind, it is normal for your mind to wander but when it does gently bring it back without judgement. A family member of mine claims he can’t try meditation because his mind “just won’t stop”. And while it may feel that way for him, the mind is plastic: it has neural plasticity, or the ability to remold, change through growth, and reorganize. Just like training a dog that won’t stop jumping on people, training the mind to calm is a skill that, with a little work, can be attained, if not mastered.
And now you’re off. You don’t need luck. Just ten minutes and one thing to focus on. Oh, and one other thing: the thought that you are worthy of being happier, healthier, and more at peace. Because you are.
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Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life.
Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.
Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters.
Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.
Did you know that we validate parking for TWO garages?!
For the Two Light garage, please bring your ticket inside for validation. For the Power & Light garage, please ask for a parking pass at the front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)
If you find that you are running a little late, please call the studio to let the instructor know to keep an eye out for you.
We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:
Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.
Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).
Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.
Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!
The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!
This option is valid once per day per license plate.
There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.
Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max
Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.
All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.