the key is in the pause

Want to practice meditation but can’t get comfortable

Catspaw cushionsEveryone’s talking about how meditation and mindfulness and how it will be a great benefit to you. ¬†You want to practice meditation but can’t get comfortable ūüôĀ

The truth is, you have to prepare your body and notice if you have any body issues,  before sitting and focusing on the breath.

It is really challenging to sit in stillness as a beginner and even for someone that practices meditation a lot it can be hard to be still because life changes all the time.  We all need guidance from time to time. Questions to ask:

How long can I sit today? Can I sit on the floor? Are my hips and hamstrings tight today?

You can it on a chair or the floor or against the wall but it is still important to prepare your body before you sit because, if you’re not¬†comfortable your meditation will always be about the physical discomfort.

Traditionally yoga was a practice to prepare the body to sit in meditation.

If you’re preparing a 5k run and you haven’t run in a year you might want to train a few weeks before the race. That is what coming to stillness is, ¬†preparing your body to sit.

Prepare your body to sit, so you can be comfortable when you come to meditation.

Here is a short video from Yoga Journal.


Is there a color that inspires Pausing?

catspaw cushionsThere are all kinds of articles that the psychology of colors, and the topic is fascinating.  There are countless articles and books about how we respond to color. There is a lot of money spent on what will be the trendy colors for the seasons, for everything from cars to fashion.  When it comes to meditation cushions, yoga props or zafus, the tradition has been austere, dark solid colors. Is there a color that inspires pausing?  So the simple answer Рthe color that we choose for a cushion depends on our taste. (updated blog post)

¬†I started making meditation cushions because I wanted some festive meditation cushions and yoga props for my yoga classes. ¬†At my core I’m an artist, so this wasn’t a stretch. ūüėČ ¬†I ¬†choose colors that inspire, energize and calm.
 The article What Color is your Zafu? by  Elizabeth Marglin shares a quick list of what colors represent:

catspaw cushionsYellow: Stimulates joy and uplifts the mind

Orange: Stirs up energy and boosts confidence

Red: Excites the passions and helps overcome depression
Violet: Calms the emotions and deflects irritability
Blue: Soothes the spirit and also induces harmony
Green: Balances, heals, and relaxes
Black: Inspires both introspection and discipline
Brown: Encourages security and stability
Find the support you need.

How to Support your Back

We all are entering the time of year that may be fun and challenging at the same moment, which can add stress to our bodies. The back is one common pain area.  How to support your back and finding the support you need is so important.

Practicing yoga – try a twist

Sit on the floor everyday – use a supportive cushion.

Strengthen your core – practice yoga




Create a Space for Quiet Time

You don’t need a whole room to create a space to be quiet time.

My first suggestion is having a seat that is comfortable and supports your back and whole body, a cushion, such as Catspaw Cushions, and a blanket or rug. A clock/timer or app such as insight timer. You may want to have a few items that mean something special to you such as a painting like the painting below by Diane Wright @sunjourneystudio or something that inspires you.

Have a seat, pause, breathe.catspawcushionscatspaw studio

Pause and have a seat and focus on your breath

Pause to …

  • Sit
  • Sit with you thoughts
  • Sit with what you’ve done or said
  • Sit with yourself
  • Find a moment to just sit.

Pause and have a seat and focus on your breath.

catspaw cushionsWe all use the word mindfulness to describe allowing yourself to be fully present for the events in your life without seeking diversions or distractions. Pause and have a seat and focus on your breath.

Since mindfulness encourages a lack of judgment. Our hope is when we come to sit (maybe on your Catspaw Cushion ūüėČ you are able to cultivate a respect and openness for all feelings and experiences. Mindfulness provides the opportunity to observe your thoughts and feelings with openness and honesty. Whatever your experience in the present moment – joy, despair, anger, elation – mindfulness creates a place to experience all the beauty and richness of the human experience.

I have included the moment from This is Us¬†Kate lets it all out,¬†because it shows all of us what it feels like when we Pause and have a seat and focus on your breath,¬†and let our feelings flow – sometimes it’s seems like it is too much. Here she has the guidance of and instructor and the rhythm of the sticks to stay and simply be.

Pause and have a seat and focus on your breath.

Mindfulness is the act of focusing on what you are actually experiencing at any given moment.¬†Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer in using mindfulness to reduce stress,¬†defines it as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally [sic].” ¬†Though the concept of mindfulness is simple, a regular practice is transformative, resulting in reduced stress, improved health, and increased life satisfaction.

When you say I don’t have time to sit on a cushion. Pause to sit and focus on your breathe even if it is for a minute.

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