Meditation has been around for what seems like ever, as far back as 15th century BCE there is mention of the practice. It is a practice that goes across many different religiouions and has been adapted by the western world and moulded into “New Age” type practices (mostly pulling from Buddhism and Hinduism). Meditation is an inward personal practice (despite often being practiced in groups) in order to realize some benefit, may it be enlightenment, relaxation, stress management, personal time, what have you.
I have attempted to add some Zen back in my life through meditation, as I was having a difficult time making it to the yoga studio. I started out with an 11 minute meditation, to help focus my mind, and relax my body from the impending stresses of planning a wedding, working 5 days a week, and managing a social life. My first couple attempts were alright. I was able to sit still for about 9-10minutes, but never quiet able to make it through the full 11minutes of guided meditation.
After my first few failed attempts I primarily blamed my inability to sit there on the podcast I had found. It seriously isn’t the greatest, and at this point I now find the man’s voice utterly annoying. But upon reflection I have realized it has nothing to do with the poor quality of the meditation podcast, nor with the man’s
wanna be soothing voice. It was me.
So under the advisement of my sister I started to attempt walking meditation. I read up on it a little on the internet, and I remembered it from some books I had read and I thought, surely it would be so much easier than sitting there for 11minutes. I could even incorporate it into my walks home after work. WRONG! I tried soothing music to help block out distractions. I tried Mantras I had learnt from one of my favourit yoga teachers, but walking meditation seemed even more futile than sitting meditation.
Then the second I get on my mat in a yoga class, everything just seems so easy. the moving postures (Asanas) just melt anything else away. I can focus and clear my mind and think about almost nothing besides what is going on on my mat. This isn’t to say that at the end of the class I don’t often trail off about what I am going to make for supper, but I am able do it for more than 11minutes, without feeling like my skin is about to crawl off my body.
So as it turns out yoga is the best way for me to meditate. By doing something I can forget and clear my mind of other things that are happening in my life. Now for the problem…realizing this doesn’t change the fact that gym yoga sucks and that the yoga studio I currently have some passes with doesn’t really sync up with my schedule. But with most things in life you just have to rely on a little help from some friends! A good friend of mine had lent me a book a while back, and I had been a little slow in getting to it, but flipping through the pages the other day I realized that it has outlines for personal yoga practices, there are 30, 60 and 90minutes personal practices
Now I have a history of being notoriously bad at sticking to at home self guided things (workout dvd’s and the like). But I figured there is no harm in giving this ago. I mean I was making myself sit still for 11minutes a day for a couple of weeks. I am sure I can get myself to do something I love to do for 30-90 minutes a day and heck if it doesn’t workout I still have my regular yoga classes, and at least I tried right. Today will be day one of the at home yoga attempt, I will report back on how it goes.
Have you ever attempted something at home? How successful were you?