I’m a total multi-tasker. At this very moment I have 5 internet tabs open, I’m stretching my neck, and answering the office phone.
Most of the time I like this, it keeps me entertained and on task. It also keeps me distracted. It causes me to avoid just being.
My earliest memories of yoga and meditation are from when I was just a little girl of 4 or 5. Mom taught hatha yoga in a sunlight, third floor studio and I would sometimes have to sit on the sidelines and color or nap during class. I can’t picture any of the students or even the postures they practiced but I can hear my momma’s soothing voice talking them through the final relaxation, corpse pose.
I flirted with yoga in junior high but didn’t fall in love until about 16 when I first experienced Vinyasa. This flowing, dancey form of yoga opened up new worlds in my body and my mind and I found it rather natural to practice a moving meditation. My mind was clear and focused as I let my body ride from warrior to down-dog Post-practice I felt refreshed, calm, and confident.
Yoga classes and practices often include a very short seated meditation and a final relaxation and I welcomed those quiet, still moments, as long as they were book-ended with lots of movement.
The idea of mediation has appealed to me for a long time but perhaps I was just posturing, pun intended, because whenever I would attempt it I failed miserably.
Well, my mediation time has come. It’s something that I’ve been feeling like I need for a while now but you know how it goes, sometimes it’s hard to give ourselves exactly what we need; change is hard and sometimes uncomfortable. Adding meditation into my life is a change.
I am no authority on mediation. In fact, I sometimes feel like I am clueless about it. Here’s what I do know though and why I am starting to practice it more regularly.
- When I sit I have a lot of thoughts come up, naturally. It helps me to visualize those thoughts as happening in cartoon-like bubbles; forming, floating away from me, and quickly popping.
- I sometimes use a mantra, an idea, or a single word or emotion to help focus my energy and mind as I sit.
- I read once about a daily meditation where you sit and focus everything you have on sending out love to those people most important to you. One of my desires with practicing meditation is to become more compassionate and less reactionary and defensive so this style of meditation appeals to me.
- I personally always set a timer for my meditations, usually from 3-5 minutes. This is a really short time and honestly barely long enough but it is achievable to me. Over time I can see that I will need and want to carve out more space and time for certain meditations.
- Usually I sit cross-legged. Sometimes I sit up straight but with my back against a wall for support. If my hip flexors are feeling tight, or I’m sitting for a longer time, I may put a folded towel or something under my hips to boost them up higher than my knees and feet.
- Meditation feels incredibly nurturing to me. When my little cricket timer goes off I thank and congratulate myself for being good to me, for taking time out to take care of myself. Similarly to practicing vinyasa, mediation leaves me calm, focused, and with a certain sense of self-confidence and security.
- I like mediating with a little ambient noise, not music with lyrics or others’ conversations but distant street sounds or birds chirping.
- I’m kind of terrified of a meditation group or class. Sitting still for any longer than 10-15 minutes sounds like mild torture. I’ve done this only a few times in the past and each times I felt distracted, uncomfortable, and like a bad yogi. Things change though, maybe I would feel differently now. I’m going to face my fear and attend a class in the next few weeks.
Do you meditate? Please share your knowledge, experience, and tips!