Category Archives: Meditation

Fearless Friday: Stop, Drop + Meditate

As I have explained in past posts, meditation is one of the hardest things for me in living my yoga but its a necessity. As one of my inspirational teachers, Gabrielle Bernstein, states, “If you think you don’t have time to meditate, my response to you is do you have time to feel like shit?” And it’s true, when I’m not in the habit of meditating everyday, I do feel like shit, total shit in fact. My head feels like it’s going to spin off my body and I have a hard time grounding down.

One of the biggest barriers that gets in the way of meditation is not only the element of time but also how we view meditation. When I first began to meditate, I thought it had to be this big magical event. I needed to have the special pillows. I had to light candles and it had to be this very special intimate experience with myself. It became more of production to do then to actually to do the meditation.

I then approached my meditation in a complete different way. I viewed it as just something I did in the morning, just like brushing my teeth. I get up (still in my pjs), head to my couch, sit down, place a pillow on my lap, set my iphone timer for 10 or 15 minutes, close my eyes and I’m in. A  prayer I like to say as I begin my meditation is  “Where would you have me go, what would you have me do, what would you have me say and to whom?”> something I also learned from Gabrielle Bernstein. I find that this statement is a reminder for me to let go of control and trust that whatever happens is meant to be. A great way to start the day.

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My meditation experience is never perfect and it never should be. In fact, there are some days when my mind just races and I’m overcome by anxiety. Weird stuff comes up, like worry over returning library books, parking for a class later in the day, an e-mail that I need to write, but this is all part of the experience. For me, meditation is a powerful way of bubbling my anxiety up to the surface and rinsing it out. No judgement. No expectations. Just letting whatever come up, come up and breathing through it. And with this, things happen. I find stillness with myself. I feel at ease and I feel energized in a relaxed way ready to take on my day.

Stop, drop + meditate and share your experience.

Meditation: Get Into the Zone

Meditation is the hardest self care tool for me. Just like any difficult run, work-out or class, right before I do it I feel anticipation and even a slight fear that I will not do it “right” or “long enough”.

When I was mediating recently I felt like the experience was very similar to when I have to run on the treadmill because of bad weather and have set miles that I need to complete for race training.

For these particular runs, I get my water positioned into the water cubby. I have a shirt or towel covering the screen. I put on the best playlist I have on my iPod and off I go for as many miles as I have on my race calendar that day.

As the first initial minutes of the run go by, I feel this yearning to move the towel aside to see my time and my pace. Not knowing how far I have run drives me crazy, yet again knowing how much farther I have to go is a much worse feeling. This mind game continues for the first two miles of my run and then suddenly everything comes into place. I catch my rhythm. I find my breathe. My strike becomes more fluid. Everything comes together. I’m in zone! I’m running and having fun.

Meditating the other day felt like the same experience. I set my IPhone timer and placed it next to me. I was seated comfortably and I closed my eyes. I could feel this yearning to keep opening my eyes and check my phone to see how much time had pasted. My body was incredibly tense not knowing how much time had gone by. I kept focusing on my breath but my thoughts were running rapid. I then began to take deep breaths and sighs and then began to count my breath—allowing my inhales to equal the length of my exhales. After ten rounds of this breath my thoughts faded, my shoulders dropped down to the ground and I was in the zone. I was meditating. It was on and I felt at ease.

Whether it’s running on the treadmill or meditating it takes patience and time. There needs to be space to “warm-up” and to let go of not knowing how many miles have completed or how much time as gone by. The key is to find your rythmn by letting go of the need to control. Let things be. Let them evolve. It will allow your mind to be more free.

What is your experience with meditation? What do you struggle with?