As part of Yoga EADO - East Downtown Houston's #MarchMindfulnes challenge, I was offered the chance to lead an Intro to Meditation workshop following Sunday morning EADO flow. Besides talking about all of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits that a meditation practice provides, I love teaching how meditation can fit in with a yoga practice, and how to make it part of a wellness routine.
Trouble was, I hadn't been meditating much recently. Sure, I preach mindfulness in my classes, but I don't always practice in my life. The opportunity to lead this workshop gave me the push I needed to re-establish my own meditation practice. I committed myself to meditate for ten minutes every morning for one week, and here's what happened:
1. It gave my morning purpose.
I don't know about you, but I often wake up in the morning, and groggily wander around my house for about ten minutes trying to figure out what to do first. Lemon water? Yoga? Dishes? Shower? When my goal was to wake up and meditate, I didn't have to waste time wandering and wondering. I got up, I meditated, and my morning moved forward from there.
2. I stayed calm
The beginning of my week of meditation was crazy. I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep the weekend prior, and the week was relentless in its pursuit to bring me down. I had the opportunity to lose my cool a number of times, and I didn't always succeed in rising above. However, I have the tendency to let one bad encounter or frustrating ineraction with another person landslide, and that's where I noticed the change. I found the strength to bounce back, and not let one asshole ruin my day. Never underestimate that power!
3. I slept better
After a couple of days of restlesness, I finally slept. Hard. The purpose of meditation is to train the mind, and there's really no other time that becomes more necessary than when you're trying to fall asleep and you've got a million thoughts racing through it.
I've read studies that claim that as little as seven minutes of meditation a day can change the very makeup of the brain. Certainly everyone can set aside seven minutes of their day. And imagine if we all did.
Of course, everyone is different, and just like the physical yoga practice of asana, everyone's experience with meditation will be different as well. What science is beginning to find, though, is that the benefits are plentiful.