I tend to read a lot of wellness articles. There are few things I think are as important as having a healthy body and mind. The trend right now that everyone in every healthy magazine, show, blog is saying the key to a healthy lifestyle is, is meditation.
I’ve done yoga for a few years now and meditation is a big part of it. The truth is, I couldn’t do it. I would lay on my mat trying so hard to clear my mind, searching for that inner peace everyone talks about and nothing. If anything, it just worked to make me incredibly frustrated.
I would go home, sit on my bed and try to meditate at night. Nothing.
The next time I’d be scrolling through Twitter and, inevitably, someone would talk about how they can’t start their morning without meditation or something generic like that and I would rush back to yoga in a fervor, try again and fail.
I’ve finally had enough and decided to try meditating differently because clearly everything I was reading just wasn’t working.
I found that the one thing that can clear my mind is not just sitting on a mat, palms up, eyes closed. It’s the actual workout. Timing my breath to every move, pushing my body until it starts shaking, focusing on the words of whatever music is playing. Next thing I know, the hour is over and my mind has been cleared (then it’s time to ‘mediate’ and it promptly comes roaring back).
Now, there’s nothing more annoying than ending a practice with meditation if you can’t actually meditate. No matter how good your workout is, you leave feeling frustrated and with a racing mind. So, in a desperate attempt to finally ‘get it’, I decided I would stop trying to clear my mind. It obviously didn’t work. Instead, I would focus on one thing: a project at work, a book I’m reading, school, blogging, anything. Then, I would push everything out of my head and focus on that one subject. Anywhere my mind wandered to, I’d let it.
You know what I found, not only is it much more relaxing than trying to clear your mind, failing and then wanting to throw your mat across the room and stomp out in a rage (can you imagine a yoga class ending like that) but it’s also when I’m at my most creative. I’ve even started considering taking a notepad and pen to class with me. Some days are better than others but it’s much more productive and I think, no matter who you are or what you do, there should never be a shortage of creativity in a person’s life.
If you’re like me and just can’t meditate, give this a try! Slow your breath and practice focusing your mind and then let it wander.
If you can meditate, tell me your secret! I would love to know!