I wanted to talk to you all about something that isn't always talked about that much by people in the yoga world - especially us teachers and people who have been practicing a long time. It's almost like a shameful secret no-one wants to admit to, in case we're seen as less of a yogi, or somehow lacking.
Let's face it - meditation is fantastic - when you can do it! There are HUGE benefits to meditation, even just 5 minutes a day can make a huge difference to your life. I suffer from IBS (part of my fibromyalgia joy!) and find meditation can even ease these symptoms. It helps stress, anxiety, sleep, your skin, your ability to not scream when someone cuts you off in traffic; and so much more!
And yet...meditation can be really hard. Even for people who have been meditating for years. When I first started meditation, many years ago, I borrowed a cassette tape from the library with various meditations on it. I have to admit I was fully prepared to make a copy of this tape at home if it was any good - the early 90s version of illegally downloading an mp3 for young people reading! The problem with this...I hated the tape and couldn't wait to return it.
I'm sure a lot of people would have loved that tape...but I just couldn't do it. I thought for years it was something wrong with me, that I was somehow lacking. I didn't try meditation again for...oh it must have been 15 years. When I did, I fully expecting to still be rubbish.
I found, instead, that it wasn't that I was rubbish at meditation, but that not all types of meditation suited me! That very first tape I borrowed was all full of visualisation meditations...and I find this extremely difficult. I have gotten better at it over time but it still is not one of my favourites and I still struggle. I am so much better with breath-based and body-based meditation.
You might find you are the complete opposite - you can visual until the cows come home but cannot focus on your breath or body to save yourself. The secret is this - that's ok! We are all different, with different preferences, talents, likes and dislikes. And we can all meditate!
If you have tried meditation and found it hard, or think you're rubbish at it...I urge you to try something else. If you have tried visualisation, try breath-based. If you have tried body-based try visualisation. Try something! Don't worry if you have an off-day either - we all do! The trick is just to try...you might even find you're good at it!
I'm a yoga fanatic who been practising yoga for 22 years and teaching for almost 4. I'm quite spiritual, a bit of a hippy to be honest, and love discussing theoretical aspects of yoga as well as the practical elements. You'll find articles on how yoga benefits my life on both a physical, mental and emotional level, as well as how it can help you - as well as some non-yoga related articles just to keep you on your toes!