Ok, you might have heard a few things here and there about this weird practice called meditation. You might have an interesting picture in mind when you hear that word, like weird people with long gray hair and a hippie-like vibe telling you to relax and breathe and whatever… In a way, I hate that representation of the word because it’s so cliché and serves no purpose. I think yoga has a similar problem.
If a workout is mostly a physical exercise for your body, meditation is an exercise for your mind. This is not a perfect analogy, but that’s okay since meditation has so many meanings and techniques it’s hard to perfectly capture the essence of it. In my opinion, meditation is about awareness of your body and mind. Observing what’s happening in the moment and eventually letting things go. It’s almost like sitting on a rock and watching traffic go by. Sometimes there are just a few cars passing by, and everything is so peaceful, but sometimes there are so many vehicles you feel overwhelmed.
Meditation helps you practice awareness and presence in your own body, so when you’re stuck in a real traffic jam, you know how to let go and savour the moment.
I’ve been practicing meditation on and off since 2019. I’ve started using a meditation app (Headspace - not sponsored, no referral link), and I’ve completed more than 785 sessions, but I still feel like a beginner and I still get mad about the traffic. However, I know I’ve made progress.
Here’s my usual step-by-step process:
1. Put down a yoga mat.
2. Stretch for 5-15 minutes.
This helps me relax my body, and I just stacked those two habits together. It helps me quite a lot with the consistency aspect.
3. Pick a guided meditation session lasting from 5-10 minutes.
Enjoy the moment.
Here are a few things I’ve learned since I started meditating:
- Meditation won’t solve all of your problems.
- Sometimes meditation won’t calm you down.
- It’s okay if you skip a day and lose your streak.
- Meditation is so simple yet so hard at the same time. Just lying there, noticing your breathing, and letting go.
- Meditation can be annoying.
- Meditation can help you be more present even outside of the practice.
The whole point of the practice is to spread that awareness and sense of self outside of it. I see meditation as an anchor that will help you pull back to the present moment even when the waves of life push your boat far away from it.