It seems to me like life’s treadmill has flipped into overdrive. Oftentimes I feel busier than ever constantly working on the never ending to-do-list. Over the last decade life has changed dramatically with the advancement of cellphone technology. Today nearly every human on the planet has their own cellphone and all the apps that come with it.
The medical world is starting to tout the benefits of meditation in recent years. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.”
Finding some quiet time and a space to be away from our cell phones, laptops, ipads, TV’s and the like, is difficult if not nearly impossible. But taking that first step is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. Even if only for one minute, just step away with a conscious mind to sit in stillness, be focused and breathe.
I teach YIN yoga, a very meditative passive practice, and yet finding time outside of this practice to be alone and quiet was a constant mirage always in the distance. I could see it, but could never reach it.
I recently started a meditation practice outside of yoga. I started setting my alarm clock to wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal. That gave me time to drink my coffee, sit in my yoga room to set my intentions, create a daily habit of gratitude and meditate. This morning practice sets the tone for the day and has brought me more focus, intention and a sense of confidence I haven’t felt in some time.
My morning routine varies from 5 to 15 minutes. Most times, I repeat a mantra to coincide with each inhale and exhale. Other times I focus on my vision board and visualize my goals and dreams as if I were already living them. This practice has taught me how to negate the negative self talk that turns on from time to time.
Meditation is not easy and does not mean to sit in complete silence without any thoughts. It simply means you gift yourself time to slow down and focus your thoughts so that calm enters your body and mind. Meditation doesn’t have to be a marathon in each sitting. Start small, like you would with anything new, and work your way up slowly.
Allow yourself to be a beginner. The journey IS the lesson. Take the first step, find a quiet place, close your eyes, slow down your breath and be still. Even if this lasts for just a brief moment, be sure to try again. The return on your investment will be priceless.