And How You Can Learn to Meditate
I’ve been a fan of yoga for a couple of years but don’t practice consistently for a number of reasons:
- Other fitness activities: CrossFit, running, etc.
- Honestly, have made the time
What I love about yoga besides the physical movement allowing you to stretch sore muscles, relieve tension and build strength, I truly enjoy the mindset it gets you in on your mat. Meditation plays a large role in yoga and is incorporated into every session.
Every yoga session I did, my mind felt clearer and lighter than it did before practice. I’m an afternoon/evening exerciser predominantly so I would be meditating later in the day when all of the worries, frustrations, anxiety and everything else from the day would follow me to the mat.
Oftentimes, the practice helped me reset after my day but then I became curious about linking meditation to my Ironman training and using it prior to the race to calm my nerves. I truly tried to integrate this in but at the time, my mind was so muddled, exhausted, and fried that I couldn’t get anything going.
Now, 8 months later with a clearer mind, I have begun to meditate every morning before work and it has made a huge difference! Here are five reasons why.
- Achieve A Daily Goal
A goal I have for myself that I publicly declared in my Beachbody coaching group is to meditate everyday. By taking just 10 minutes in the morning, I accomplish a goal I’ve set for myself and feel instantly rewarded.
- Start My Day More Peacefully
Now that my health is getting back on track, I am able to get up with enough time to have coffee, read, meditate and still get ready for work. Until my thyroid was figured out, I had so much trouble waking up and would often be scrambling to get ready while getting Memphis outside to do his business. This had me feeling stressed as I entered work and getting the day off on the wrong foot. I now enter with a clear mind and better outlook.
- Learn How to Quiet My Mind
I don’t know about you but my mind is constantly going, with new ideas, things to get done, activities I want to do and everything else. Meditation is teaching me how to quiet my mind and how I can better control my thoughts. For years (and still), I would let recurring, negative thoughts bog me down and ruin my day. Now, I can recognize these thoughts, address them and move on.
- Reactions to Challenges Is Less Severe
I’m noticing a shift in how I react to things that may come as a surprise, shock, or discouragement. I take a little longer to process it and think through it. “What about this is causing this reaction?” “Is this emotion I feel appropriate for the situation?”. This is also in part due to listening to a podcast from Jess Lively called “The Lively Show” and learning from her “Life with Intention” series. Check it out, it’s awesome stuff.
- Happier Throughout the Day
Since I now start my day in a happier place, I approach (or at least try to) the rest of the day from a better perspective. Things at work have not been all butterflies and rainbows for the past several months and it was really getting me down but now I feel better about going to work and know that I can step away for 10 minutes to meditate should I feel overwhelmed or anxious about things.
So, you see all of the benefits and want to get started right?! Not sure where to begin? Check out this free app “Headspace” to get started. The app guides you through 10 days of 10 minute long sessions. The leader is a soothing, British-male voice who prompts you at just the right times. They also provide cute cartoons to help visualize the process. Once your 10 free sessions are up, you’ll have to subscribe, but trust me it’s worth the couple of dollars (definitely cheaper than a yoga membership!).
Want to learn more about meditation? Check out these resources:
- What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate
- 7 Ways Meditation Changes Your Brain and Body
- How Meditation Makes Work Suck Less