Meditate? It took me years to relax in savasana and not think about what I was going to eat after class or what I had to do that day. I did not think I would ever discover the benefits of meditation and that seemed fine with me. My monkey mind could not be tamed.
But as life is busy, and stressful, and constantly changing. As I navigated through life’s messiness, I became more interested in changing my mindset. If I could achieve the benefits of meditation—stress reduction, relaxation, and general emotional well-being—wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing? I started paying attention in yoga as my teachers spoke about meditation instead of dismissing it as “not for me.”
Here are 5 things I learned:
1.The goal is not to empty your mind I thought I could never achieve true meditation because my mind was always jumping from thought-to-thought. It turns out this is typical (who knew?) and noticing these thoughts and letting them pass will quiet your mind.
2. Breathe Your breath will keep you centered and help you to stay in the moment. When all else fails, concentrate on your breath.
3. Be present and aware It may seem simple but have you ever tried to be truly present and aware of your surroundings, your body, or your senses? It takes some focus. Try to be present and aware during your next yoga practice and feel the ease and strength in your poses and the calmness that takes over. This is meditation.
4. Complete stillness is a myth Think about it; your body is never completely still. Your heart beats, your blood courses through your veins, and your body rises and falls with your breath. Trying to achieve complete stillness, in your body or your mind, will never happen.
5. Mediation is for everyone If you think it’s not for you, revisit why you feel this way and give it another try. You will be glad you did!
Thank you to my yoga teachers for their insights and guidance on my reluctant path to meditation.