The Art of Meditation
Meditation is something I used to think was resigned to those that were ultra hippie sitting on a mountain top trying to “find themselves” or buddhist monks. How a little education can change things eh?! Now I’m a fully fledged meditator, and I have to say I wish I’d started sooner.
Meditation is about more than just sitting. It’s about becoming connected with yourself and your body and allowing yourself time to just relax. I started meditating when I first went to yoga classes a few years back. My anxiety was pretty bad and yoga was recommended to me to help – which it did! At the end of every class we had a ten minute meditation which involved us lying on our backs listening to my yoga teacher talk about relaxation and/or being connected with ourselves. Initially I had no idea what I was doing or whether what I was doing was even right. But like everything in life, after a little practice, things got easier.
I used to not be fully connected during meditation. I’d sit and listen to June (my yoga teacher) talking, but at the same time my mind would be so busy. I’d be thinking about all sorts from what I was having to dinner that night to my school work or things to do with job. Needless to say I wasn’t meditating even though I thought I was.
Fast forward to now and I know what it means to meditate. As I said, I did some research and soon my understanding came. Meditation is something I use now to find a bit of peace when things are all busy. A way to sit back and just pause.
One of the best ways I found to help me mediate is the calm app. This app has loads of meditations to try out; everything from commuting meditations to ones to help you with stress and anxiety. I chose to pay to the premium level so that I had access to more meditation practices – something that has been really beneficial. I especially found meditation a lifesaver during my recent January exams. Taking 10-15 minutes everyday to meditate helped to clear my mind and became part of my daily routine. It gave me time to have a break and feel reconnected when I began revising again.
Meditation doesn’t just teach you about finding time to pause, it allows you to master breathing techniques that can be used when feeling stressed or if you can’t sleep. (The calm app also has some handy sleep stories if you’d prefer to fall asleep to these instead of a meditation! The Waterfall was always a go-to for me!)
The thing with meditation is that you won’t get it right the first time, or the second, or the third. It takes practice and perseverance to get to a state where you mind can truly relax. I am no meditative guru, but I have noticed with more frequent practice my meditations have felt more refreshing. It also means that there are also meditations where I feel like my mind is still buzzing, all is okay!
So make sure to stick it out and try to incorporate it into your daily routine. Maybe start your day with it? Or reflect before bed? Or even, as a break during the day?!