(Pictured above, is where I'd love to meditate.)
My last post focused on the words, "slow down." In perfect timing, yoga training last weekend focused on meditation. Although, meditation is not for everyone, it has been a powerful force in my life for years & recent bodies of research have validated its benefits as well.
So what exactly is meditation? According to www.yogainternational.com, "In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens." In my mind, it is the best way to, truly "slow down."
There are various ways of meditating. It is not a one size fits all type of thing. According to Ganga White in Yoga Beyond Belief, "Sitting is the most commonly practiced mode of formal meditation technique." He says, "Don't Just Do Something, Sit There." Easier said than done, right?!? Well, you can try to find a meditation that fits your style & perhaps you'll stick with it. There is breath meditation, candle meditation, mantra meditation, body meditation, self-study, etc. Meditation can be done in silence, with music or even outside with the sounds of nature. It can be done in a formal sitting session or it can be done as you navigate your fast-paced life as a means of staying calm.
(Pictured above, is where I meditate daily.)
Personally, I would love to be able to get outside every day & do some formal meditation. But, realistically that rarely happens. I do a formal sitting session in my house, my closet to be exact, because it has the least possibility of interruptions. I am able to do this almost every morning for about 15 minutes before the others in my household get up. I use the sounds of nature via my stereo & a mantra that I have created that suits my needs, along with breath awareness. My mantra is something that I carry with me throughout the rest of the day. When anxiety peaks, I focus on my breath & repeat my self-prescribed mantra & calmness is usually restored.
My meditation set up is simple, just a yoga mat, candle & my happy buddha statue. Even though I am Christian in faith, I love many aspects of the buddhist culture.
So, what better way to "slow down" than to give meditation a try. If you want to go even deeper with your new meditation practice, try beginning with some simple yoga poses. Traditionally, meditation is preceded by yoga. Start your practice slow & watch the benefits grow!