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I Did Not Meditate, Or So I Thought

Ten years into my yoga practice, I had never wanted to "meditate". I could never imagine a day where closing my eyes in an upright position for a set period of time would ever make me feel better. The physical aspect of yoga, the postures and mindful breathing, was all I wanted. My body was in a state of pain unless I moved, and I did not want to spend one minute of my time awake being uncomfortable. Assuming a cross-legged seat for a specific time frame was uncomfortable and based on the messages I had received, meditation had to be performed in that manner, or it wasn't meditation.


Then, I read books. Informed books. Books from academia, and long-term practitioners like Ram Dass and Sally Kempton. They not only expanded my view of "meditation", but they possessed cognitive flexibility in how meditation was approached.

I didn't have to feel inferior because assuming the traditional upright position with my legs crossed was uncomfortable for me. In fact, I realized that I actually already had a meditation practice, even if it didn't look like what "everyone" else was calling it.


For example, whenever I lay down at night and listen to the humming of the air conditioner or fan to go to sleep, I am meditating. Whenever I lay down in savasana after a yoga class and allow my thoughts to scroll past my awareness without engagement, that is meditation. And, whenever I engage in breathing techniques like simple breath awareness or diaphramatic breathing to calm myself down, I am meditating. Also, none of these practices take longer than 5 to 10 minutes, and guess what? It is still meditation.


I learn and remind myself over and over again that meditation is personal, unique, and someone's preferences are not debatable. And as a yoga instructor, I love to see how others' meditation practices unfold. I want people to understand it is an ever-changing life-long adventure. Meditation isn't a chore or dogmatic - it is about listening to your Spirit - your highest self. And it leads to all kinds of revelations and self-discoveries.


If you are interested in framing your own meditation practice, consider joining Melanie and I in the online, self-paced, 21 day "Spring Cleaning + Meditation Challenge" starting this Sunday, where we link tidying up our spaces, with the magical practice of meditation.


I hope you will join us! Be well.


Janet

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