These streets will make you feel
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York
This was my meditation music this morning.
As summer starts to fade, I’m relishing in my outdoor morning workouts and meditation. It won’t be long until I have to migrate from the Hudson River Park that runs along the west side of Manhattan to the gym in the basement.
I’m really not a runner, but I love the idea of exercising al fresco. I trot along the boardwalk and loop around the masterfully-groomed piers, Statue of Liberty in sight, until I feel like I have to take it down to a brisk walk. I alternate like that for a few loops and then stop by the grassy area just north of Chelsea Piers for a bit of yoga. I love practicing inversions on the grass - it makes me feel like a kid again.
When I'm ready to wind down, I face the water, prop my right foot up on the railing to stretch, close my eyes and take a few minutes to connect to my breath. Sometimes it's breezy and I sway back and forth with the ebb and flow of the wind. Other times it's completely still. Sometimes I'll set my iPod to a calming mantra and other times I'll just let it run. This morning I let it run.
Given the rekindled romance I've got going on with New York these days, meditating to this anthem was totally appropriate. It's taken me a while since returning from the lovely land of New Zealand to really feel back at home here in the Big Apple. The energy is as seductive as it's ever been, but for the past year and a half, I've found myself yearning for the simple pleasures of a life down under. With a new passion project in the pipeline, though, I'm digging the land of opportunity vibe that New York elicits, and I've got my big city mojo back.
I switch legs to give some stretching love to my left hammy too. Eyes still closed. Still breathing. Attention drawn inward, but receptive to the energy of this magical place I'm in—physically and spiritually. When I open my eyes the Hudson looks a little brighter. New Jersey, across the way, looks a little prettier. The new World Trade Center looks a little taller. Lady Liberty looks a little prouder. And I trot back home a little lighter.
I agree with the common notion that everyone should meditate for at least five minutes a day, unless you are too busy, and then you should meditate for 30. But I know that's easier said than done, and I also know how intimidating meditation—the concept and the practice—can be. I had never mediated a day in my life before my yoga teacher training last year. So my advice is to find ways to make it work for you. Don't judge. Just breathe. Let your thoughts run, if that's what's happening. And breathe. Tune into your inner voice, the sound of the birds outside your window, or Jay Z. And breathe. Even if just for a few moments. Be still and breathe. I guarantee when you open your eyes you'll see things a little differently. This morning, I saw a concrete jungle where dreams are made.
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