Does meditating really work?
Six years ago if you had have told me that I would not only enjoy meditation but that I would be able to meditate whenever and wherever I wanted, I would have thought you were crazy.
A few years ago I went to my first yoga class and I simply hated it. I remember getting more annoyed and feeling frustrated throughout the entire class partially because I could barely touch my knees at the time never mind my toes. Throughout the class the instructor kept talking about mindfulness, being aware and connecting with the breath… I mean, really? The more I tried to connect with the breath, the more I couldn't follow the class which resulted in me feeling like a fool. I stuck with it and went to yoga for three classes. I always say that if you want to try something and really experience it then try it at least three times to gain a clear understanding Of what it is that you are trying.
After the first class I went home and started to Google the term mindfulness and meditation. I found myself mesmerised by what I was reading. Not only did it make perfect sense to me but it was like I was learning a memory. I learned that I actually have been living with a mindfulness attitude my whole life but I just didn't label it. Now meditation was a different story. I will never forget the first time that I meditated – my God… I sat crossed legged because that is what the teacher did, I sat there and all I could think what the following three phrases “stop thinking Sinéad!”, “Sinéad concentrate!”, “This is a waste of time” sound familiar? Over the years I have come to not only rely on my mediation to give me a sense of being but to give me a sense of stillness too. It gives me so much clarity and allows me to connect to my breath to release any form of anxiety that I may carry. Now this feeling of ‘loving’ meditation didn't happen over night. I downloaded as many guided meditation apps as I could find, I went to as many meditation workshops as I could and one day I finally had my ‘AHA’ moment.
My love for energy came when I started to listen to my own body and what it needed. Firstly, I find sitting crossed legged the most uncomfortable position ever and after a lot of trial and errors I found that lying down was best for me. After a lot of ‘God, you are useless at mediation’ thoughts, I finally gave in and just let my thoughts come and go. It is the brains way of releasing and starting to relax. Once I kept connecting to my breath and feeling the energy around my body the more than I would relax and gain clarity.
Let me share a little trick that I used to really fall into a deep state of being. When you are meditating, take a pen and paper with you. At first, your To-Do list might keep popping up in your head so in order to rid the feeling of forgetting just write down your ideas/thoughts so that you can connect back to the breath. Then start to bring you awareness to your toes, yes your toes. How do they feel? Wiggle them, dig your heels into the ground or wherever you are. From here work your way up your body – get to know your body and the variety of sensations that you have. Do you have any aches and pains? Think about them, feel them, nourish them and release them. There have been times that I have done this technique and I didn't make it passed my knees as I fell asleep. This form of meditating is just about bringing awareness to the body.
Try it. How does it feel?