Welcome to the beginning of the week! I suppose here in the United States we technically start our weeks on Sundays but we all know that the REAL week begins once we get back into that work/school mode. This week Alyssa graduates from Cal State Northridge, WOOOOO!!! I also am finally in my school finals mode and am taking a break from my four-page research paper on Irish-Americans to write this blog.
During busy weeks, it can be easy for our minds to quickly become overwhelmed with all our responsibilities we need to accomplish. Many of us already suffer from having anxious minds so when life’s pace picks up, it can be hard for our thoughts to slow down.
One of the most valuable tools I have learned over the past few months in practicing yoga is the art of meditation. It’s hard for me to sit for even three minutes without fidgeting and fighting the desire to get up and DO something, but in yoga I was forced to relax each class for ten minutes during our “Savasana” (sah-VAH-sah-nah) or “cool-down meditation”.
On our last day of class, I told my teacher that those two ten-minute meditations are the best twenty minutes I do for my health every week. It takes me about five minutes to finally be able to relax my crazy thoughts but once I get there, my mind is able to escape into a blissful world that normally takes place on some tropical beach with the waves gently brushing up on the shore like the wind brushing through my hair.
There are a few different types of meditations you can do. Here is a list I am sharing from my yoga class:
- Concentration – Mentally (eyes closed) focusing on the breath, counting the breaths,or a specific chakra. Visually (eyes open) focusing on lighted candle or other peaceful object while clearing away all thoughts except those related to the intended focus.
- Visualization (Guided Meditation) – A teacher or a recorded script guides students through a relaxing, focused visual journey or mental vacation, in which students are encouraged to push aside all thoughts and participate mentally in the visualization.
- Mantra – A sound,word or phrase is spoken aloud or silently (mentally).
- Stream of Consciousness – Observe ones own thoughts stream past in our minds as if on a movie screen. Acknowledging each thought without mental reaction, judgment or comment, then releases it with gentleness and waits for the next thought.
If you’ve never given meditation a shot, I highly recommend it. I’ve never been able to successfully meditate for more than twenty minutes but I’m hoping with practice, I’ll be able to master this relaxation technique because I know I certainly feel better afterwards.
One of the better guided meditations I have found are by a wonderful man named Deepak Chopra. Deepak Chopra is a new-age guru who was born in India and immigrated to the United States to become board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. He also has written over seventy books and has become world-known in the Ayurveda world. We did some wonderful chakra meditations in our yoga class so if you like the idea of exploring meditation further, I recommend hunting them down on Youtube.
Here is a short example of a guided meditation that I hope a few of you will take the five minutes to relax their minds with.
Do any of you meditate on a regular basis already? If not, what challenges do you find when it comes to being able to meditate?
I hope you all have a wonderful week! I’ll be back on tomorrow with another blog!
Lots of love,