Meditation. Just saying that word can make some people tense up. For me the most challenging part of my yoga practice has always been the focus and meditation.
Sure I can relax my body, I can allow my body to come into stillness and I can sit comfortably (until the pins and needles kick in) in the ‘meditation position’. But asking my mind to settle into stillness, a completely different story!
I’m sure I am not the only one who has been in their final relaxation or in a meditation looking blissful from the outside but if anyone could see what was going on inside. . . Off to the mental asylum!
Its amazing how many thoughts can be going through your head at any one time,
‘I wonder how long i’ve been lying here, it must be nearly the end.’
‘Did i set the planner to record the bake off?’
‘The woman next to me is snoring.’
‘I must remember to get milk on the way home. Oh, yes, my breath I’m focusing on my breath. . . I must put on Facebook that i had an awesome relaxation in yoga class this evening!’
All of these thoughts happening in one second flat!
This is not just restricted to when we are in our yoga class, if you start watching your thoughts you will start to notice they are very rarely in the present, the ‘naughty monkey mind’ likes to hop round continuously from thought to thought draining us mentally and sometimes physically as well.
We sometimes focus on these thoughts so much that we can sometimes actually feel and experience past emotions and hurt from things we are re-living in our minds and also create anxiety and tension in the body from trying to predict what will happen in the future.
Wouldn’t it be nice to slow those thoughts down? Imagine if you could pick and choose what thoughts you have in the same way we choose our clothes in the morning. To choose to have positive thoughts, and to start to become more present in the moment sounds great and its easier than you might think. But its a constant practice, like any new habit we have to stick with it so it becomes more of a routine than torture. Ahem, i mean chore.
So what do we do I hear you ask
We want to start becoming so aware of our surroundings in the present moment that there isn’t room for the other thoughts, or not as much room at least.
We want to start to shift from thinking to awareness, you can start right now… Start to become aware of where you are sitting, take a look around the room or wherever you are and just be aware of where you are.
- What sounds can you hear?
- What can you smell?
- What is the temperature of the room?
Be aware of what you are sitting on, be aware of the contact between your body and the chair. Then start to take your awareness inside yourself. Be aware of how your body feels. Become aware of any tension in your body and let it go. Start to become aware of your breath, just watch the natural rhythm of your breath, how does it feel?
This is how simple it can be, you can call this focusing, meditating, being mindful or simply being present. We don’t need to be sitting on the floor with pins and needles and aching knees to find this little bit of peace within ourselves, you can do it anywhere anytime. So spend some time in the only moment that truly exists, right here, right now and enjoy it.