Announcing the Second Annual Sit-off – A Meditation Competition

Last Christmas, you gave me your heart. Oh, wait, wrong holiday.

In November 2009, amidst the hotly intense debate if yoga should be in the Olympics, I announced the first ever Sit-off, a Meditation Competition. It was, frankly, a coping mechanism. There was so much emotion running high about what “real yoga” is, and what’s not, and being one who prefers flip flops year-round, even in the winter, I could see where every side was coming from, but I couldn’t side with anyone. The only posture I could take was taking a seat, on my own cushion.

Then, in February of last year, I asked my blog readers to take a vow to sit for 28 days. This year, I’m doing it again.

The Rules

From Tuesday February 1 to Monday February 28, I’m challenging everyone, including me, to sit every day. Yes, *every* single day. The rules stay the same: for all 28 days of February, 2011, sit. That’s it. No, really, that’s it. Sit for a minute, or 5, or 9. Or,

You Are Not Alone

At the risk of sounding like a Jennifer Aniston or M. Night Shyamalan movie, sitting may seem like a lonely activity, but I assure you it is not. When we sit, we take the same posture that millions of people from all over the world throughout time, have taken. And, as I mentioned last year: Some of us are more private about our work, others benefit well from support, encouragement, and a sense of camaraderie. So, if you’re on Twitter, simply tweet #openpractice.

What Is This All For

My teacher, Judith Lasater, says that “The practice of yoga is fundamentally an act of kindness toward oneself.” And, at the risk of stirring up some bad blood, I believe that yoga without meditation is calisthenics*, so I will go as far as adding to Judith’s statement, that “The practice of meditation is fundamentally an act of kindness toward oneself.”

Not only is meditation something you do for yourself, you can even do it for others, like the meditators of the International Meditation Experiment are doing, for three whole years. If you don’t care for all that hippie peace love shenanigan, consider meditation as a way for you to Train, Exercise, and Better your Brain. The authors of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working also advocates meditation as a way to energize your performance at work.

* There is nothing wrong with calisthenics. Historical documents have shown that modern day yoga postures and sequences were influenced by calisthenics.

Okay, that’s all. Go forth and find that cushion.