“The space in my head.” Meditation
Kristen, Instructor and Director of Instructors + Training
Mediate. Me, meditate? You want me to stop moving for 10 minutes every day for two weeks? I’ll give anything a try once, let’s go!
Luckily, while preparing for this challenge I came across Headspace.com, which offers the Headspace App and a free 10-day trial. How could I go wrong with free? The sessions are 10 minutes each and can be accessed on the web or through the app.
The Headspace folks suggest 10 minutes of meditation a day. I took a minute and negotiated with my inner multi-tasker, who really needs to slow down. Myself and I agreed we could sit still for ten minutes four times a week.
Ready. Set. Meditate.
I thought I knew a bit about meditation, having been in fitness classes that incorporate meditation techniques, including yoga. I didn’t expect it to be exactly like a savasana, but I thought it might be similar. It was. I also thought 10 minutes of meditation would be easy to fit into my daily routine. It wasn’t.
Did I levitate off the floor?
I wish! Unfortunately, no levitating took place. The process was fairly simple and did end up being similar to a long savasana at the end of a yoga practice. Sometimes I sat in a chair, sometimes I laid on the ground. The leader of the session (more on him later) instructed me close my eyes as he guided me to think about how every inch of my body, from head to toe. We moved into simple breathing exercises. The idea was to focus solely only on your body and breath, leaving all your worries and cares behind for a few minutes.
No joke, it is so difficult to get my mind to stop. And my worries and cares like to follow me around like a needy puppy (more on her later, too).
What did you love?
In all honesty my favorite part of each sessions was the guide’s British accent. Sorry not sorry. It was so soothing! I could listen to him talk all day long.
Other than the British accent, I enjoyed how the guide gave me different ideas to focus on throughout the session. These were usually accompanied by a one- to two-minute minute video before the start of the session. The videos offered new perspectives on stress and worries (e.g. your thoughts are cars passing on a road in front of you – just let them pass).
What was difficult?
Confession: I’m terrible at meditation. I’m impatient and I often try to do too many things at one time. On a few occasions, I had exactly 10 minutes to dedicate to meditation. Sounds perfect, right? Wrong. The session aren’t exactly 10 minutes: they are 10 minutes and 50 seconds or 11 minutes and 10 seconds and sometimes included an additional video. I should have carved out 15 minutes of time for the Headspace app so I didn’t feel rushed or frustrated but instead relaxed and rested.
Those days when I only had 10 minutes, I ended up running late. On those days, all the calm I had cultivated during the session flew out the window as I sped down 64W!
Did you have any meditative breakthroughs?
Nope. But I did fall asleep during one of the sessions! I was lying down with one hand on my stomach. When I fell asleep, my arm twitched and I startled myself awake. Pretty sure I screamed.
Can you fit it into your daily life?
I wish. I found it difficult to carve out 10 to 15 minutes a day to sit in total silence with my eyes closed. My dog (#Pibberthepup) always found me and licked my face—her invitation to come play.
I’m open to giving it another shot. Next time around, I’ll try meditating first thing in the morning. For now, though, I’ll stick to meditating during savasana in my yoga classes!
Do you want to give it a shot? The Headspace App is good for at-home practice. You can also mosey on over to our friends at Om On Yoga to get in some great savasana and yoga class. Or connect with RVA’s own Ellie Burke for guided meditation practice.