Lifestyle, meditation, Self love, yoga

Meditation sucks

A peaceful and quiet place. Maybe the beach, maybe a rooftop. The only sound comes from birds and the wind softly touching the palm trees. It’s early in the morning and the sun is just about to rise, touching and caressing my skin with the first warm sunbeams making their way down to earth. The gentle breeze picks up every once in a while, carrying the sounds of faraway noises. The temperature is just perfect as I settle down on my Yoga mat, finding myself in a cross-legged position. I ground into my sit bones and straighten up the spine while slightly activating the abdominals, drawing the shoulders back and the chin down. My hands are resting on my knees, palms facing up. I take a deep breath in. My stomach is ballooning out as a draw the air in and with the exhale, I pull the navel back towards the spine. I close my eyes.

I am ready to meditate.

Out of a sudden, all the soft noises become so loud that it’s almost disturbing. The wind doesn’t touch much skin softly anymore, it’s making me feel cold. At the same time, the sun gets me sweating. I feel uncomfortable in m cross-legged position so I rock from side to side. A fly lands on my hand. Then on my leg. Then on my nose. The far-away voices get louder. What are they saying? I notice a weird feeling in my stomach. Wondering about the birds, I wish they would turn to volume down a little. From one moment to the next I have to pee. Wasn’t it just 5 minutes ago that I went? Yes, it was, and there was this beautiful butterfly on the window seal. The crystal clear blue of its wings reminded me of the color of the ocean when we went swimming yesterday. I was hungry too! Almost tasting the lemon dressing on my tongue again, the thought of my clients’ email pops up in my mind again and I start to phrase a reply in my mind, sentence by sentence…

Stop. Breathe. We meditate.

Sounds familiar? Even after years of daily meditation, I am still amazed at how incredibly busy my mind is. How unstoppable the inner dialog seems. How intense, how real those scenarios created in this thought machine up there can feel, and how difficult it is to turn it down. When I started Yoga, I was never drawn to meditation. I knew, I simply couldn’t do it. I am one of the people who always needs something to do, to dissect or to analyze. My mind’s never still. Years after, I realized that the original purpose of Asana practice is not being slim and strong and lean, it is to prepare the body and mind to sit still and do… nothing. With giving the constant carousel up there a break, we are training our minds and shifting focus and energy to where it is meant to be. As soon as we sit still, the running machinery up there gets irritated. Why are we not thinking? Why are we not productive? Why are we so still? Taking a step in an unusual direction for our programmed and habitual mind, sitting still is a major challenge.

While there are thousands of different forms of meditation, If you’re just starting out meditation and struggle to calm down your thoughts, try those tips to access the life-changing, healing and calming practice:

  1. Find yourself in a routine. Same time, same place. The early morning is, for me, the best time for meditation. People are still asleep and I don’t feel like I am missing out on something while I am sitting here and doing nothing. On top of that, it’s quiet. That’ll help.
  2. If you don’t feel comfortable cross-legged, definitely don’t sit cross-legged then. You can meditate in a chair or sit on a yoga block. The only thing important is that your hips are the same level or higher than the knees. The worst thing is to feel uncomfortable while trying to focus. Find your own comfortable position.
  3. To enter the meditative state, focus on the breath. If it helps, then you can simply count to 4 synchronized with your inhale and exhale. The breath anchors you into the present moment and is, scientifically proven, the bridge between body and mind. As the only part of the autonomic nervous system, we can control consciously. Linked to the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system, we can activate one or the other due to the way we breathe.
  4. Become the observer. If the mind’s still running, try to observe what’s going on instead of being obsessed with thinking nothing. Instead of thinking the thought, try to see it from an external point of view and meet the upcoming thoughts with a simple sentence like: There is a thought about work. Then let go and move on.
  5. Use visualization. When you really can’t focus, try to create a mental picture of you sitting there and being still. Imagine how you would feel meditating, what you would sense and how it would look. Give that visualization as much detail as you can, creating all the sensations you would feel in that moment.

With those few tips, you should be able to move easier and steadier into your meditation practice. I really recommend you to give it a go – meditation changed my life and, with practice, will surely revolutionize yours. One last thing: don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh and giggle about what comes up and move into your practice without expectations but rather with curiosity to explore what your mind brings up today. Give yourself a smile and show gratitude that you actually show up on the mat. You got this. Stay tuned and don’t miss the upcoming guided meditations and practices. Let me know what your experiences with meditation are!

Love & Light

2 thoughts on “Meditation sucks”

    1. Thank you so much for sharing!
      This is indeed good advice which I will definitely use as a cue in my next class – surely makes it easier and gives another perspective! 😊 I love it, thank you

      Liked by 1 person

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