It’s possible that I’m going slightly crazy. My mind jumps from one thing to the next like I’m a dog in field of squirrels. I’ve always had some issues with focus, but its clear they have worsened. I’m not pointing fingers at who or why (ehem, technology) this degradation of focus has occurred, but I have my suspicions.
Several years ago at my first yoga teacher training I was forced to do this thing called meditation. I don’t like to use the word “hate,” but I disliked it very, very much. It was actually a painful experience for me. I sat there feeling trapped in my own body. Every ache or itch was magnified to an unbearable degree and all I wanted to do was fidget, scratch, and open my eyes for heaven’s sake!
Over the years it’s gotten a little better. I've meditated off and on using methods that I've found inflict less torture and more peace (for me because meditation is personal). For instance, sitting on a floor with little or no back support is slightly torturous. I know I need to keep my core engaged to support my lower back, but who’s thinking about engaging their core when they’re supposed to be letting go of thought? When I meditate I find a comfortable (but not too comfortable) seated position.
It was a freeing discovery when I realized that there are about as many different practices of mediation as there are yoga practices. Every time someone tells me “I don’t like yoga.” I say, “You haven’t gone to the right studio or YouTube channel yet.” There's no doubt that this is the same with meditation. But as you may have guessed, I haven’t found my perfect meditation match and I paused the search a while back. This is perhaps one reason my focus has suffered. It’s been at least a year since I’ve done any kind of meditation, which is at least a year too long. I know there are incredible benefits accredited to a regular meditation practice and I like to think I was once a beneficiary when I was practicing regularly.
Now I find myself at a point in my entrepreneurial career that I believe meditation is a little gold mine that I have yet to truly tap in to. I feel creativity and productivity within me that, for whatever reason, haven’t wriggled their way out in their full, true and glorious forms. I know I have more to give and I want to give it. And I think meditation is the key.
Oprah meditates and raves about the benefits. So it must be good. But you don’t even have to take Oprah’s word for it, these 7 ways meditation can change your brain, referencing studies from Yale and John Hopkins, might make you feel even more convinced. What’s that you say? It reduces anxiety, makes you less egocentric, and preserves an aging brain? I’m in.
You may have noticed the Midnight Meditation leggings we just released for our March month of meditation. There is a beautiful graphic (created by the lovely Lauren Ashbury) which depicts a meditating woman and her chakras. If you don’t know what chakras are, here’s a quick lesson. If you don’t know how chakras relate to meditation, here’s a step-by-step on one form of meditation that uses the chakras to clear your mind. Now you have a starting point for testing some methods.
In March I will be meditating every day because I want in on the benefits and I’d love for you to join me. I’ll post daily on one of my social medias to let you know when I’ve completed my meditation that day. Don’t worry, I won’t record myself actually meditating. But I do want to be held accountable and social media is a great way to throw yourself to the wolves for judgem—I mean, is a great space to find accountability. Use it to your benefit. Use #NoyaMeditatesMarch or tag @Noya_yoga so we can find you and congratulate you on the wonderful steps you’re taking to make yourself your best you. Bring it on, March!