December 6, 2018

I used to think that mediation was for other people, if I am really honest, as a busy professional, it was something that never crossed my mind. But, what if the simple act of breathing could calm your mind, make you less stressed?

Who is meditation for?

I used to think that mediation was for monks and people that want to go and find themselves in India, meanwhile, I was wearing pencil skirts and high heels and sitting in ‘important' meetings all day, so it certainly wasn't for me. Sometimes I think it would be nice to go back to that girl and whisper in her ear that she was so very wrong!

Who's meditation for?

I never really got the concept of sitting down and doing nothing, I am enormously proactive as a person so doing nothing always sounded counter-intuitive to me. But now I know how wrong I was. 

It started to change when I was developing new products for businesses in a big bank, and I went to spend a day with one of our customers. They did hot yoga, and I joined one of their classes.  The last pose was savasana (or Corpse Pose), and all you have to do is lie there, the yogi said, ‘you might notice emotions come up and whatever they are it's ok'. I think that was the first time I had stopped and been alone with my thoughts in about 5 years and WOW, suddenly I was felt so much emotion that I didn't even know was there. It started something, I went again and again and the more I went I noticed that there was this incredible peace in those moments of savasana.

I'd started to see that stopping breathing (meditating) could make a difference, but it really changed for me when my fabulous boxing coach Sean Krool told me that I need to go and float. Honestly, I thought he was a bit mental, floating is also known as sensory deprivation, and where you lie in a kind of bath/pod of Epson salts, it's like the Dead Sea, so you float; you lie there in the dark just floating for an hour. It took me a while, but I went. I'd had this image of it being an actual glass tank in some kind of James Bond baddie lair – don't ask me why it was just the picture in my head.  

It was not, I walked in, and it was more like a spa, and the pods were like massive baths with lids.  I put in the earplugs, climbed in, closed the lid, lay back and switched off the light.  I felt like I was floating down a river for the first few minutes and then I was just weightless floating in the darkness, just me and my mind.  


This is why I think that thought, of being alone with just your thoughts is one reason why meditation seems so alien for many of us. We've grown up being busy, knowing that we have to be productive, active, that we have to ‘do' things to be successful and happy and never learning just to be. I felt like I was doing it wrong, my mind was full of thoughts, but when I got out, I felt amazing, calm, refreshed, clearer. I was hooked!!x,m nxkj b

So, who is meditation for? Well, I can tell you for sure it's not just for monks!! There is not one person on this earth that would not benefit from meditating. You don't have to want to find enlightenment to start, maybe you just want to feel a little less stressed, a little more in control, more creative, happier, if that's you then stopping for a few minutes and breathing is for you.

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Where do you start?

Find a quiet place where you can sit for a few minutes undisturbed.
Sit in a position that is comfortable for you on a chair, the floor, a cushion – you do not need to be cross-legged.



What will you feel?

If you are like 99% of people, you will feel like you are doing it wrong! After a few breaths, you will realise that somehow you are no longer paying attention to your breathing, you are rehearsing a conversation, planning your jobs list, thinking about something that happened last week.  This doesn't mean you are doing it wrong, it's normal. For however many years you have been on this planet your mind has been busy, and it takes time to learn to focus on your breathing consciously. This is why mediation is called a ‘practice'.

So, when you are focusing on your breathing and realise you have drifted off, remember it is normal and then refocus. You'll find this happens a lot and some days are easier than others – that's normal too!!

How often to meditate?

When you are starting out, little and often is the way to go.  Start with a few minutes a day and build the habit.



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