3/2/12 - My Meditation Practice

by Zelinda The past few weeks I've been feeling pretty stressed, overwhelmed, and physically achy.  I've been so busy organizing programs and projects at the studio, and trying to balance my work with my family.  Even though I love my work and (of course!) my family, I can still get worn down if I don't take care of myself, and I think that's exactly what's been going on.

So this morning, after I dropped of my children at their schools, I headed over to The Yoga Room to take care of some things, and I suddenly realized I had a good 35 minutes to myself.  In jeans, I rolled out my mat and did a bit of asana practice.  I breathed, I stretched out my achy back, and I moved my body through a little practice.  My body was so grateful.

Then I grabbed a blanket and sat for meditation.  This is where the real healing and soothing happened.

Let me take a minute to tell you about my meditation practice.  It's pretty sporadic.  Every few years, I go through a period of being really motivated and consistent and meditate daily, but most of the time I meditate when the mood strikes, and that's what happened this morning.

This morning's meditation was so timely, for a number of reasons.  One is that this month's wellness focus is meditation :)  The other is that today I just really needed the benefits meditation can offer.  I've been feeling like I'm so busy and so tired that I'm completely functioning out of my head rather than being in my body, and that's a really uncomfortable place for me.

So back to this morning's practice.  It was so lovely and reminded me of all the benefits meditation can offer.  The style of meditation I practice is simply focusing on my breath.  I find a comfortable sitting pose, I breathe, and I focus on the sensations of breathing.

Today I had the strong sensation that my lungs were not breathing symmetrically.  I felt like my left lung was kind of stuck and didn't want to breathe.  My right lung felt like it was a balloon with a weak spot that bulges out when too much air goes in.  I just kept breathing, knowing that it would sort itself out, and it did after a few minutes.

Often, when I meditate, vivid colors and images appear to me.  Over time I've realized that I have some attachment to those visions, because they're pretty cool, but I've also realized that if I try to force them to appear it ruins my meditation practice.  So today, as I started seeing a beautiful vivid purple spot appear, I reminded myself to just focus on breathing and let the spot do its own thing.

As I was breathing, meditating, some thoughts came into my head.  Of course, during meditation you're supposed to acknowledge thoughts and let them go, like clouds passing in the sky, so I worked on doing that and had a much needed, soothing, several minutes of meditation.  Soon Angela arrived to prepare for her 9:15 class, so I wrapped up my practice and went to jot down a few notes about how I was feeling and what benefits I felt I received from the practice.

Stream of conscious, this is what I wrote...

  • Stress draining (from my body)
  • Balanced, Grounded
  • Capacity/Capability (to handle everything going on in my life)
  • Strength/DIY (I feel strong that I relied on myself for my well-being.  I didn't need medicine, a glass of wine, therapy, or a massage - although each of those have their own benefits - I did a DIY stress relief)
  • Creativity (During meditation I also had some fun new ideas for upcoming programs at the studio!)

Not bad for a 12 minute investment of time!

So now, I'd love to hear your thoughts!  In the comments, tell me...  Do you meditate?  If you do, tell me a bit about your practice - I'm sure I can learn something from your experience.  If not, what's keeping you?  Or feel free to post a question or comment.

Or, to be entered in our March giveaway, send us your "My Meditation Practice" story and we'll post it as a blog on our site.  We'll accept stories until March 31st and pick a winner at random.  The winner will receive a handmade Indian rudraksha mala.