Relaxation and breathing was a completely foreign concept to me years ago. I was going through a particularly stressful time during my divorce, when my therapist suggested I try Yoga. I had never joined a yoga class, nor did I think it was something I would potentially get into. The idea of sitting in one place, breathing, and relaxing my mind was very challenging for me, and took a tremendous amount of work. I tried it on and off, but couldn’t really bring myself to fully commit. Then my back start acting up, I was in and out of the hospital with terrible painful attacks due to herniated discs and trapped nerves, and once again, the doctors suggested yoga. It seemed like as much as I was trying to run away from it, it just wouldn’t let go. There is one thing I learned over the course of my life, when the universe keeps sending you the same messages it’s time to listen.
Today my sanity and salvation is YOGA, breathing and meditating. From being a super high strung crazy woman with a lot of inner stress and anxiety I went to being able to allow myself to enter into complete Zen state of minds anytime I choose. I think I would have never been able to stay as strong as I have without it, and that is why I am so passionate about it and want to share my love for it with you.
Whether you are going through a hard time in your marriage, or are in the process of a divorce I am sure you are experiencing insane amounts of stress. Your body and mind can only take that much, so even if you don’t have a lot of time try and take a few minutes every day to focus on you and your sanity. It will be your lifeline trust me.
If you are new to this here are some things I learned along the way.
Take small steps: When I first started out I watched others and was in awe of how incredibly flexible they were, or how long they were able to stay in a meditative state. I was also frustrated that I couldn’t do the same. Take baby steps, start out with easy practices and don’t compare yourself to others. The main purpose of yoga and meditation is to truly feel you and get in touch with your body and mind. If you are trying to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, start really small, 3-5 minutes is a perfect time. Close your eyes, notice the soothing feeling of choosing to close your eyes yet consciously letting go of everything around you, and just breath, and breath deep. That’s all!
Meditate with purpose: Some people think meditating is doing nothing, which is actually the furthest thing from the truth. Meditation is a very active process. It is an art to be able to just focus your attention on one single point, and can at times actually be quite difficult. It could be just focusing on your breathing, or on an intention you are setting for yourself that day. It doesn’t have to be anything specific, just something you need or want that day. One that I really like to set for myself often, is to allow myself to relax (which is hard for me) and allow myself to “love me”. I also do this at the beginning of every yoga session and from time to time I bring my attention back to what my intention for the practice was. It’s a great way to realign your thoughts.
Notice your attention: One of the biggest challenges for me was to stay focused in the moment or on my intention. I used to find my mind racing into a million different directions, except for being present in the moment. The good news is that we CAN control our minds. It will take practice, but whenever you find your mind wandering off, bring it back to the present moment by focusing on your breath. Feel your inhalations deeply taking in positive energy, and release any negative or stressful emotions or thoughts through your exhalations.
Be patient and kind to yourself: Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. I am still struggling with many poses during my sessions, and something I get thrown off course in middle of a meditation session. It is important that you remain patient and kind towards yourself. It is calling practice for a reason, don’t give up, just keep doing your best and be grateful for what each session gives you.
I always finish my sessions, thanking myself for getting myself there and thanking God for blessing me with the gift of yoga and meditation.
Try it, I promise you it will change your life.