giveaway! ‘yoga for meditators’ by charlotte bell (sponsor spotlight)

Even the most bendy asana practitioner can feel a little stiff and uncomfortable when attempting a sitting meditation practice. Author and yoga teacher Charlotte Bell is aware of the physical challenges new meditation practitioners may feel, and she addresses them in her new Rodmell Press book, Yoga for Meditators: Poses to Support Your Sitting Practice.

Charlotte writes, “Asana practice, by its very nature, is about preparing the body for meditation. So a book on yoga for meditators may seem redundant. All yoga is for meditators, after all. Still, there are poses that I have found to be optimal in addressing the specific physical challenges that arise during meditation, and it is in this spirit that I offer the practices in this book.”

The book is designed for beginning and seasoned practitioners and includes:

  • the most common physical issues that can cause discomfort during sitting meditation
  • asana to establish the base, awaken the spine, soften the shoulders, and quiet the body-mind
  • sequences for calming agitation, increasing energy, opening the hips
  • other traditional meditation positions — walking, standing, and lying — with ways to settle into each

I have three copies of this beautiful new addition to the Rodmell Press Yoga Shorts series, courtesy of IAYB sponsor Rodmell Press. To enter, leave a comment before 9am EST on Monday, April 30, answering the skill-testing question: What’s the biggest challenge in your asana or meditation practice?

  1. The biggest challenge….reminding myself that the purpose is just to sit. Nothing else. Just sit.

  2. Finding time to do it! Furry and non-furry elves, teaching my own classes and all that comes with those is keeping me away from the mat /zafu a lot.

  3. I am challenged by acceptance (of where I’m at today) and consistency. I love Rodmell Press and would be thrilled to have a copy of Charlotte Bell’s new book. Thanks!

  4. My challenge is believing I’m worth making the time….and then getting the website to accept my “captcha code.”

  5. Biggest challenge is practicing when I don’t feel like practicing … and to come back to the practice when my practice has fallen away … to return to practice … again and again and again.

  6. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate how correct alignment in a seated pose can enhance the quality of the meditation, especially how it influences calm breathing (tilt of the pelvis, spinal column rising like a plant from the pelvis, lumbar curve, rib cage open).

    Don’t tell beginners that because they’ll obsess about posture and never get into meditation.

  7. consistency.
    a deep practice is built on a daily practice over time.

  8. The monkey mind! Whether I’m practicing yoga, or sitting and watching the breath, there is this tendency to judge, to want to be elsewhere, to whine or indulge in a running commentary on what I’m doing. It’s so nice when I can let go of all that and truly inhabit the body and the breath.

  9. sloth and torpor…..

  10. My biggest challenge is letting myself take the time to be quiet. That means leaving the to-do list behind, and making the concerted effort to remind myself that I have to take care of me before I can be of any service to anyone else.

  11. Biggest challenge: Keeping my brain quiet and my breath smooth.

  12. My biggest challenge, is allowing myself to let go and just be. More things seem to run through my mind while I am trying to meditate, than any other time. Its like my body knows it needs to relax, but it refuses to.

  13. biggest challenge?

    butt on cushion / feet on mat / spirit in body

    once I arrive, even the monkey mind is delicious!!

  14. Being a teacher I find I can easily help my students find that space, but if I am doing my own practice I have to repeat the “mantra” – Let go and allow yourself the beauty and peace of no thought…..quite the challenge I might add!

  15. biggest challenge: separating from cozy bed with enough time to sit before the hubbub begins!

  16. The biggest challenge for me is solitude. Good old fashioned peace and quite. Even if I can get the baby to sleep alone for a while, the two small dogs must lick me and jump on me, and then eventually guard me while I practice.

  17. Taking time to do a sitting meditation. I can meditate while walking, in bed, shower, driving, etc.
    I am reading Meditation for the Love of it now.

  18. Let me think about it…*

    * Yes, it is a joke. Thinking too much is so the challenge with both for me.

  19. Doing it not matter what. Taking the effort to sit no matter what, despite whatever degree of resistance arises.

  20. Three things, actually…fluctuations, fluctuations, fluctuations!

  21. my challenge is accepting that my practice can + does change everyday

  22. My biggest challenge is being kind and not beating myself up when my mind wanders.

  23. my biggest challenge is getting to my mat every day…especially when I’m busy teaching.

  24. In class my biggest challenge is my desire to please teachers which often leads me to overuse my flexibility and underuse my stability, which then causes injury and then a lack of consistency in my daily practice. So, ego?

  25. My biggest challenge is practicing every day when my work life and family obligations take precedence.

  26. The biggest challenge to my practice is to not let overwork cause me to miss it.

  27. Finding the time when the rest of the family won’t disturb me. I had done some soul searching as to why this challenge was throwing me off balance and realized if it weren’t for some challenging situations over the past few years, I would not have been so completely drawn to yoga and meditation to begin with. So I decided to accept it for what it is and just plug away. It’s really becoming not as bad as I thought.

  28. Itch. Itch in the skin. Or itch in my head that says “I have to remember this…I better write this down…I’ll lose this creativity if I don’t act on it NOW.” and failing to trust that there will always be more, no one itch is what the world turns on.

  29. Disciplining myself to be sure that I make the time to do it daily. And, at times, remembering why I’m there so I can forget why I’m there.

  30. My biggest challenge…checking my ego at the door. It’s easy to get frustrated if I can’t do a certain pose, if I can’t quiet my mind etc. Trying to remind myself that in the 4 walls of the yoga room I just need to be present and not stress about anything else.

  31. The concept of sitting and taking a moment to ourselves tends to be a challenging one amongst the greater population. Sitting and breathing, tuning to our breath, letting go… foreign and scary to most. What happens usually is a bending forward of the shoulders, a twisting of the ankles, and force on the knees… we are rough with our bodies, we believe pain is good, and that we will fight through it to find peace. Peace is already here. Comforts are here. To find the stiramsukkhasana, the steady and sweet seat is the intention. Our steadiness and sweetness is for all our body’s positions throughout the day, not only in yoga, and not only while seated. The adjust the shoulders so they roll back and melt downward, to align the spine and have proper posture, and to relax the brow, and to sit on a raised soft platform (pillow, folded towel, rolled up yoga mat), is to take pressure off the hips and to help us connect to our grounding. Only when we find our comfort in our seat, while still being alert to the body’s voice (not our ego’s voice), and allow the natural inhales and exhales to flow freely, will we then let go……

  32. My biggest challenge is letting go of the judgments I make about myself.

  33. My biggest challenge to my asana practice is to start. Once I start…..I’m good to go but all the negative voices in my head converge prior to me rolling out my mat. Sometimes…..they win.

  34. My biggest challenge for both is core strength. Sitting for meditation is difficult without a strong core. I work at core strength in my yoga practice to find ease in both asana and meditation,

  35. Quieting my mind, turning off the chatter of the monkey mind that wants to wander and reminisce over the past and fantasize about the future instead of being in the present moment and being content and quiet.

  36. nihilism

  37. My biggest challenge is getting myself on the mat. Thanks for running this giveaway!

  38. The biggest challenge for me is two-fold: 1) I feel like I never have time to sit and be still and 2) when I finally am able to make time, my four-legged children try to get me to play.

  39. Biggest challenge is focus

  40. Not letting the excuses and distractions deter me from just getting to my mat in the first place.

  41. My biggest challenge is not judging. It’s easy for me to “evaluate” myself, and others. the hard thing for me is to simply be “okay” with where, what, and who I am at that moment.

  42. my biggest challenge: time (never enough!)

  43. My biggest challenge: the pain. I was diagnosed a year ago with a tumor in my spinal column-L4, L5 area. Being a committed meditator and pratitioner has been a blessing. I am always amazed by the Grace of God every day. Even the pain(as excrutiating as it can be, at times) is tolerable when I can sit, empty my mind, open my heart and experience silence with the Divine.

  44. The largest challenge most people have is to realize, it’s not just about relaxing. True, effective meditation is about training your brain to quiet down. Acknowledging your thoughts as they arise and setting them aside, to find the quiet space in your brain’s chatter so that your mind can grow and expand. That is the only way for you to transform your life through meditation.