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Practice Day Eight: Say Only the Words that are Necessary

Theme/Mantra: “Today may I say only the words that are necessary.”


The words you speak become the house you live in- by Hafiz


Today we are going to practice a meditation using breath and sound, particularly, “om.”

Find a comfortable meditation position. That could be sitting cross legged on the floor, or in a solid chair with your legs uncrossed on the floor in front of you.

The “om” is in essence a vibration, with sound, rather than a word, and is easier to do at a lower note than higher.

To practice the sound, perse your lips in the position you would use to say the word “you.”

Begin by making the sound of “ooohhhh” which should mimic the “o” sound in the word “home” rather than the “o” sound in “option.”

As you exhale the sound of “oohh”, then bring your lips together to finish the “om” with an extended “mmmmm” sound and vibration in your throat.

The result is a long “oooooohhhhhmmmmmm” in one continuous sound.

Breathe deeply, and repeat, noticing how the vibration feels in your mouth and throat, focusing on wordless sound and meditation.

Physical Movement:

Sun Salutations- the movement should be fluid with each inhale and exhale-

If you know how to do them, do three sun salutations- slowly and deliberately, pausing as you wish for deep breaths between the asanas. If not- follow below…

(the fluidity comes with practice, so don’t be discouraged)

-Begin in Mountain Pose

Stand with your legs hip width apart, hands in prayer position in front of your heart.

-Upward Salute

Inhale as you sweep your arms outward to your sides, and upwards to meet and touch in prayer position reaching upward.

Gently arch your back with your hands extended and look upward and slightly back at the end of the inhale.

-Standing Forward Fold

Exhale as you fold forward at the hips. Bend your legs if you need to. Rest your hands on the floor at either side of your feet.

-Half Standing Forward Fold

Inhale as you lift your torso half way. Bring your fingertips to your shins. Your back should be flat and your head extending out from your torso.

-Plank Pose

Exhale as you place your hands down flat again beside your feet, and jump, or step your feet back so you are holding yourself up in plank pose, arms straight. Your shoulders and feet should be hips width apart.

Continue exhaling as you lower your body to the floor as if you were doing a push up.

Keep your elbows tucked in close to the sides of your body.

(if you need, you can come to your knees)

Continue to push back through your heels, keeping your legs straight.

-Upward Facing Dog

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms.

Allow your toes to roll over, so the weight of your body is resting on the top of your feet, which are flat on the ground. If you can, hold your legs straight and off the ground. If you cannot, let your knees touch the ground, and your legs to rest as you. There is no judgement in the final position. Respect where you are.

Hold your shoulders back and lift your heart to the sky.

Keep your elbows tucked in.

-Downward Facing Dog

Exhale as you lift your hips to the sky, rolling your toes over and pressing your heels to the ground (whether they reach the ground or not is fine).

Push down through your hands and feet, and extend your hips upward to the sky, as you feel a good stretch in your spine. Stay here for 3 deep breaths.

-Half Standing Forward Fold

Inhale as you step or jump both feet between your hands.

Lift your torso half way, reaching your head out perpendicular to your legs, and with a flat back.

Keep our fingertips on the floor or bring them to your shins.

-Standing Forward Fold

Exhale as you fold your torso over your thighs.

Rest your hands behind your feet, bending your knees if you have to.

(you can bring your nose to your knees)

-Upward Salute

Inhale as you sweep your arms reaching out to your sides, and then upwards once again.

Gently arch your back and gaze toward the sky.

-Mountain Pose

Exhale as you come back to Mountain Pose.

Bring your hands into prayer position at your heart.


Words have power. Power to heal or hurt- to show love or anger. The Avett Brothers mention jokes that are meant to make us laugh- but make whom laugh, and at whose expense? The lyrics also name words that point out shortcomings of others. We are all guilty of sometimes using our words to hurt others. Today, let us really think about what we say and how we say it. If you know me, you may have heard me speak of necessary and unnecessary pain. My life’s mantra is to cause as little unnecessary harm to others as possible (or to myself, or to the living world). And I fail all the time- but I keep trying. It is important to note that sometimes there are necessary harms. For example- if someone declares their love for me, and I do not return that love, I will be causing them pain by refusing their overtures. But I think that pain is a necessary pain- because it is the truth of my emotions. To lie to them for the sake of not hurting them will only hurt them more in the long run. But let us work to be more careful with the words we say without thinking. I recently said to someone while summarizing tasks we agreed upon, “okay, you are gonna get your shit together around….” And my words brought them to tears. I was able to see how my cavalier ways with words caused that person pain, and I named it and apologized. I think they received my apology with grace. However, had I been more sensitive, I wouldn’t have caused that unnecessary harm. Even with the best intentions, sometimes our words still hurt. I love Hafiz on so many levels. But the quote above is short and powerful. The words we speak become our house. What does that mean for you today? What words will define your home?

Song: 10000 Words by Avett Brothers


Ten thousand words swarm around my head

Ten million more in books written beneath my bed

I wrote or read them all when searchin' in the swarms

Still can't find how to hold my hands

And I know you need me in the next room over

But I am stuck in here all paralyzed

For months I got myself in ruts

Too much time spent in mirrors framed in yellow walls

Ain't it like most people? I'm no different

We love to talk on things we don't know about

Ain't it like most people? I'm no different

We love to talk on things we don't know about

And everyone around me shakes their head in disbelief

And says I'm too caught up

They say young is good and old is fine

And truth is cool but all that matters

Is you have your good times

But their good times come with prices

And I can't believe it when I hear the jokes they make

At anyone's expense except their own

Would they laugh if they knew who paid?

Ain't it like most people? I'm no different

We love to talk on things we don't know about

Ain't it like most people? I'm no different

We love to talk on things we don't know about

And after we are through ten years

Of making it to be the most of glorious debuts

I'll come back home without my things

'Cause the clothes I wore out there I will not wear 'round you

And they'll be quick to point out our shortcomings

And how the experts all have had their doubts

Ain't it like most people? I'm no different

We love to talk on things we don't know about

Until Tomorrow- Peace

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