I RECENTLY HELD A Q&A EVENT TO ADDRESS QUESTIONS, MISCONCEPTIONS AND OTHER ISSUES SURROUNDING THE PRACTICE OF MEDITATION. HERE IS WHAT YOU ASKED ~
WHAT STYLE OF MEDITATION DO I PRACTICE & TEACH?
I arrived to meditation via the path of Hatha Yoga. In the 8-fold path, Dhyana (meditation) is step 7. It is preceded in practice by things such as Asana (Yoga posture), Pranayama (breath-work) and Dhrana (concentration).
My first formal training in meditation came in my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with 3rd Street Yoga. I have since studied various styles and approaches to meditation including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Kriya Yoga, mantra and moving meditation.
Anything that is done with full immersion and awareness in the present moment can be meditation. This is a foundation of my practice and what I am passionate about teaching to others.
WHAT HEALTH CONDITIONS DOES MEDITATION HELP?
I make the argument that meditation can benefit ALL health conditions.
Meditation allows us to enter a state beyond the physical, mental & emotional realms. When we enter this state, our entire being changes vibration. We exit Sympathetic Nervous System activation and enter Parasympathetic Activation which is where much healing happens in the physical body.
By exiting the mental & emotional realms, we also open ourselves to the possibility of radical transformation to subconscious programming, deep-seated belief systems, familial/generational trauma, etc. The healing potential is truly limitless.
WHERE DO YOU START?
This is one of those questions where there is no *right* answer and where honoring our individual uniqueness is very important.
If you are BRAND-NEW to meditation, it can be helpful to experiment with a variety of styles of meditation until you find something that works for you.
If the idea of sitting still in silence seems impossible, start with a walking or movement-based meditation. If you are an audible-learner or if you love music, you may find mantra meditation to be a great fit. Test the waters until you find something that clicks for you.
IS A 30 MINUTE MEDITATION BETTER THAN A 5 MINUTE MEDITATION?
NO, NO & NO! No meditation is “better” or “worse” than another. Again, we must come back to the individual and what works for them.
That being said, I am a big proponent of consistency over quantity. For example, I find that 5 minutes every day is better than 30 minutes once a week. The reason for this is that something magical happens when we consistently show up for our practice no matter what. It is the ritual. It is the Sadhana (daily practice). This is where the infinite potential lives.
HOW DO YOU MAKE MEDITATION A HABIT?
To build upon a word I used before – consistency. Consistently showing up for our practice no matter what. It will not be easy. (Ease is not the point!)
Some days you will “drop in” to meditation seamlessly. Other days will be challenging. Sometimes you will sit for 15 or 30 minutes and not “get it”. That is all the point. It is called a meditation practice for a reason!
All you need to do is keep showing up.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A CONSISTENT MEDITATION PRACTICE?
Building upon the previous questions, the deep physical healing and radical transformation will come with a daily practice.
A 10-minute one-time meditation may get you out of a crises situation. A 10-minute meditation for 40 days in a row WILL change your life.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH FOCUS?
First off, know that EVERYONE struggles with focus. This is the human nature. This is the monkey mind.
It is also where meditation being step 7 on the 8-fold path becomes very relevant. It is HARD to focus the mind. That is why we have been given the other practices of Yoga movement, breathwork and concentration exercises as tools to prepare us to meditate.
When focus is a challenge, try doing some simple stretches or a couple of minutes of cat-cow prior to entering meditation. This will give the excess mental energy a physical channel to leave the mind and free up more space.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUBMITTED QUESTIONS!
I realize these are just scratching the surface. If you have other questions, comments or feedback, leave a reply and I will surely get back to you.
Also, continue to check this space as well as our social media channels for more information & guidance.