I may have already lost some of you on the title of this post, but I really want to talk about meditating today.
In the past few years yoga has become a bigger and bigger part of my life. First, for the physical aspect of it (hatha yoga) and later for the spiritual and intellectual aspects (jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, etc.).
Something that has always managed to escape me was meditation.
Starting last Monday, Brandon and I have embarked on a journey of daily meditation. This is partly because an ongoing yoga teacher training assignment is to meditate everyday, but also because we want to consciously open every day with intention. For me, meditation is much tougher than the physical practice of yoga.
Quieting my mind can be as difficult as asking me not to eat for a week. Not impossible...just difficult. So, I have to practice, same as anything else.
Enter daily meditation, stage right. Here's how I practice:
- Alarm goes off at 6:30 am (this is no different than before practicing meditation - the only change is me not hitting the snooze button three times)
- I get up and put on my robe (lovingly known as the spotted tiger).
- I light a candle and place it in front of me, wherever I choose to sit. I either sit up on my bed or on the floor, but either way my spine is perpendicular to the floor.
- Place my focus on something specific...my breath, the candle, a certain mantra
- Let. Go. for however long I feel like it (thus far I have no been late to work)
If you are like me and have a tough time meditating, try a few of these:
- when you meditate, try not to adjust your position, even if you are uncomfortable. Try and just let the feeling pass
- focus on the breath, but don't control it. Just notice how it feels when it passes through your nose and into your lungs then back out again
- your bed is a good place to meditate if the rest of your home is not free of distractions or if you share your home with others
- set an alarm and try for a short amount of time at first (3-5 minutes)
- do it in the same place and at the same time everyday
- keep a meditation journal to track date, duration and anything that comes up during the meditation. This will help you observe patterns, habits and break throughs in your practice.
My favorite part of daily meditation is beginning the day with an honest and open intention. I don't haphazardly get out of bed, rub the sleep out of my eyes and try to be awake enough to get to work...I begin my day with a clear mind and a positive outlook.