Moving Stillness: My Meditation Journey Part 4

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The following post is the final installment of a four-part series on developing a meditation practice by Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg, a graduate of our Yoga Pedagogy program and, most recently, an Independent Study student with TaraMarie Perri. Kellis currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she is a company member of the Marigny Opera Ballet.  She is also an adjunct instructor in the University of Southern Mississippi Department of Dance, as well as a freelance choreographer, teacher, and yoga instructor.

Coming Full-Circle: How My Seat Has Informed My Life

When I entered into my meditation practice, I was solely concerned with “figuring out” my seat. I gave little thought to how meditation would ripple into the rest of my life, frankly because I was skeptical of it in the first place. However, slowly and subtly, my seat became more that a checkmark on my to-do list, a personal indulgence, or an exploration of mudra; it became more than just a seat. It filtered its way into the fabric of who I am, and I started noticing subtle changes in how I saw the world and myself. Out of all of the ways my seat has shaped and continues to shape me, I have sensed its ripples most through gratitude, mindfulness, and lightness.

I have become more appreciative of myself, people, opportunities, nature, and life. I find myself being more grateful and thankful for my blessings, appreciating what I have and letting go of what I don’t have. This gratitude has allowed me to find true value in myself and in others. My seat has also made me more conscious of the things I do, say, and think. I am impulsive by nature, but my meditation and yoga practices have helped me find more intention and care in the ways I interact with people and myself. This mindfulness has made me a better wife, friend, daughter, teacher, mentor, and artist. Lastly, I have stopped taking myself so seriously all of the time. I am finding more joy in the simple and small things, and I am approaching my work, art, marriage, and life with more compassion and luminosity. I’ve noticed that lightness is a “two-way street”: it is about investing in joy when things are good and remaining gentle and understanding when obstacles or challenges arise.

I am still a mover. I still feel most myself when I’m in a state of constant motion. What meditation has taught me is that my seat is not actually a seat at all: it is a living, breathing, ever-changing thing. It is, like me, in constant motion. It is a moving stillness that has no destination—only a journey of gratitude, mindfulness, and lightness.

–Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg

Photo by Ashley Batz. Read Part 3 of the series here.

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    Our founder @taramarieperri is featured in this month’s Retreat issue of DVEIGHT Magazine!  The perfect read for this snowy Sunday morning. 
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#Ruralist: "We’re made up of space, air, fire, water and earth. In the Northeast we experience the seasons with distinction and have an incredible opportunity to observe how the cycles and rhythms of the seasons change both around us and within us. During the winter, the body, like the natural world, is weak from fall’s death cycle and needs winter’s deep rest to reinforce its strength for spring. Winter holds a special opportunity for introspection. Trees and animals are always showing us how to live. In the winter they retreat and hibernate. The cold also encourages us to stay indoors so we can explore the benefits of quiet and stillness—to make time to develop and engage in self-care." - TaraMarie Perri, founder of @perriinstitute (📷 @pbcrosby | interview @jillianschein) Join @luminousarchitecture tonight at 6:30pm in Union Square for this week’s Fall Seasonal Yoga Series. Register on our website.
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