the practical buddhist : essentials

the kevlar combo – yoga & meditation


As you may already know, I’m a biker. That is, I ride a motorcycle (a 2000 BMW R1150GS) most of the time to and from work, to and from the grocery store, and in fact, I only drive my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee when I have to. Rain or shine you will usually find me on two-wheels instead of four and sporting the appropriate gear that both protects me from the weather and enhances my visibility to those with whom I share the road.

On December 26th on last year, I took advantage of an online motorcycle accessories sale and ordered a new jacket.  The $250 retail price was cut to $120 and I couldn’t pass it up. It kind of makes me look like a bumble bee with its black and hi-vis yellow panelling.

In fact, when I’m riding through some local orchards here on the coast, I find that bees are attracted to me. My hi-ves yellow helmet that I wear on occasion, must seem like the largest ball of pollen their compound eyes has ever seen and together with the jacket, I’m irresistible.

The jacket is also made from Kevlar, the military grade mesh fabric that is five times stronger than steel, yet infinitely lighter as you can imagine (although it’s the heaviest jacket I’ve ever worn).

Kevlar is the stuff that bullet-proof vests and armor are made of. It’s use in motorcycle outfits has come into vogue in the last few years. The aim is that should one go down onto the roadway in some unfortunate circumstance, the Kevlar will resist abrasion and, quite literally, save your skin. (Plus with additional armor around the shoulders, elbows, and back…I look like the Incredible Hulk…ooh, a bonus!)

The link with mediation

Lately I’ve been experimenting with the combination of early morning yoga followed by my morning meditation period. I’m finding that the yoga poses (considered a ‘workout’ for me) prepare both my mind and body for a more enjoyable meditation period. I’ve noticed that my racing thoughts are considerably fewer and I’m able to concentrate more fully on my breath in the present moment.

This combination of yoga and mediation is what I’m referring to as the Kevlar Combo. The addition of Kevlar to my biker accoutrement enhances both my safety and visibility. In a similar manner, the addition of yoga to my morning meditation period is enhancing the experience of meditation.

Yoga is gradually playing an increasingly important role in my morning practice. I find that its physical benefits are also imparting a mental benefit to my meditation period. I plan to experiment further but I am excited by the immediate impact it’s made thus far. What I like about the Kevlar Combo is that each activity reinforces the other. Knowing my meditation practice follows the period of yoga poses helps me approach the former with a more calm and serene mindset. And as I’ve described above, my meditation is profoundly influenced by the period yoga.

Do you have a combo that works for you?

Have you found something in your meditation practice that helps you engage more often, find more meaning, or imparts another benefit to your experience? If so, I’d like to hear what’s working for you. Consider leaving a comment on social media.

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