Many people I look up to and trust have been giving me the same message for some time now: Meditate.
One of the “jokes” in the yoga world is that when you don’t have time for yoga is when you need yoga. I believe the same applies for meditation.
Many of my yoga teachers make meditation part of their public classes. And they talk about its importance.
Mary, who is a teacher in my teacher training, is the main teacher focusing on meditation for my classmates and me.
In December for one Saturday class we focused on meditation and Mary had us do a homework project, which involved meditating 20-30 minutes a day for 10 days. I did the practice for the required time and once it was over I stopped meditating.
My therapist at some point asked to to start meditating. My resistance to it was that my yoga home practice time is limited and I don’t want to give half my time to meditation.
But then she told me something that hadn’t even occurred to me: you can meditate for one, two or three minutes. Once your life allows for a longer meditation you can meditate longer.
Huh, why hadn’t that occurred to me? So now before I start my asana (physical yoga poses) home practice I meditate for about 3-4 minutes.
The shorter meditation time I have allotted for myself makes it more doable and I will actually do it.
I saw my primary care provider the other day for my yearly physical. She also told me I should meditate. (We discussed the many stresses and busyness going on in my life right now.) She suggested 10 minutes a day.
I promise, some day I will get to 10 minutes a day. And even longer …
For now I will stick with what I can manage and be content with that.
One thing I remember Mary saying recently in class is that pranayama (breath work) is about a subtle direction. And meditation is just being there.
I am learning that y0u don’t have to clear your mind to be a successful meditator. I mean, the mind is designed to be busy and talk. So listening to it and not judging is what has been working for me.
I like Mary’s description as she was encouraged from teachers to focus on the need to listen from a deep quiet place for her meditation practice.
On Mary’s website, she provides a few guided meditations if you would like to try it out.
Taking time out of your day to sit still and be quiet is what we all need in this busy world. But for some reason we have such a hard time taking a moment for No. 1.
I promise, it is OK to just sit and do nothing for a few precious moments. Try it out and see how you feel.