Over all the years of trying varying styles of relaxing yoga, before I discovered Vinyasa Flow, my favourite part was the ‘yoga nidra’ or guided meditation at the end. This is where you get a few minutes of lying on your mat in semi-darkness, letting your body go limp, being guided by the calming voice of the yoga teacher through a sunny meadow or other such “happy place”. Sometimes this would last over 15 minutes, and you would even hear some gentle snores from people who had actually drifted off during the session. Everyone would gradually rouse themselves and come back to earth, ready to face another week of life’s challenges.
I was generally aware of the benefits of making time for meditation – my Mum, as a Buddhist, would often engage in ‘sitting practice’, and reading books like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive gave me a clear insight into the power of self-reflection. But I’m a restless person, and I found sitting for longer than 30 seconds to be a real challenge.
Then I found Headspace. It’s an app. The soothing voice of Andy Puddicombe guides you through the meditation pack of your choice – free for the first 10 days but then you pay an annual charge. And I’m hooked. It’s like the Fisher Price guide to meditation and I love it.
I used it on and off over the last 2 years, and felt like it was helping. Then in September last year (quite the month for revelations for me!) I decided to start doing the mediation every day for a month, to see if doing it so regularly made a difference. And it did. Noticeably. Things felt more manageable; my thoughts felt clearer. I could hear my inner voice stronger and louder than ever, guiding me through difficult situations – both inside and outside of work. I still had extreme emotions (I’m a woman, not a robot!) but now I was able to regain a sense of calm again, far quicker than I had ever managed previously. The month soon passed without notice, and before long I realised it had become an immovable part of my daily routine. And if, for some reason, I missed it one morning, the effects were so noticeable that I wouldn’t repeat that mistake in a hurry!
It’s now March, and I’ve maintained that daily routine without fail (more or less) for over 6 months. I credit the creation of this blog with the fact that my inner voice had gotten so loud and clear that I had no choice but to listen and let it out! As far as addictions go, I think I’m on to a good one with meditation. I wouldn’t start my day without it.