Even as a yoga teacher, admittedly the word meditation intimidates me. I stumble to answer … what is meditation? Not really knowing how to confidently answer it.
With Yoga, I know exactly what it means or what it can mean. It is a practice of self-discovery. Realising the body’s capability, discovering parts of the body you didn’t know existed or to simply relaaaaax… For me, it's the movement of breath, body, mind and soul. It is the synchronicity of all these, whilst being mindfully present; to practise with honesty and kindness. It is a safe, relaxed space. Of course, for some it can just be stretching on a mat! So, it is personal practice and different for everyone.
With meditation, I am not so clear. Meditation has many preconceptions (I had them too); that you sit perfectly aligned and still for hours, join a circle of Zen masters, sit chanting with beads, sit in a beautiful spot in nature, explore different realms or enter a magical meditation space. I have also read that meditation is the absence of the mind, focusing on a point (candle or third eye), focus on the breath, may experience colours, or shapes.
I guess it can be all these things. But in reality, for me at least it isn’t (Although who doesn’t love a beautiful, tranquil spot in nature). Like most, I struggle with a constant running commentary in my mind, ALWAYS! It is only when I do yoga, that I can focus. Breathe, move, move with breath, alignment, balance and breaaaaatheeee. I have no room to think of anything else. I get so lost in the zone and I am so relaxed that I simply experience the bliss of just being! Yoga is my form of meditation.
When I do attempt to sit and meditate, I often go through the day’s events, to do list, my feelings or to sit presently with my breath. I sit with my current truths and simply observe. Sometimes, I feel like a fraud when I host meditation classes because I don’t know what the right way of meditating is, I don’t know exactly what I am doing. But I simply remind myself that meditation like yoga is simply a personal practice, a personal experience that we surrender ourselves to, not to force.
Yes! Meditation is for everyone, a space to sit with our truth; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Whether that is to focus on the breath, to reflect over thoughts and emotions, to fully immerse in a song, to go on an adventure, to visit a realm of colours and shapes, to experience a divine light or to enter an absence of the mind. There is no wrong way to meditate, only guides in many forms. Find the one that works best for you.
This recent reflection has inspired me to relaunch my Thursday’s classes to 'Yoga Nidra with Tibetan Singing Bowls'. Yoga nidra is the yoga of complete relaxation; yogic sleep which is a form of meditation. Something I am more familiar with, excited and confident to share!! Keep posted for more on yoga nidra.
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