As a yoga teacher, I have been asked many times, “how do you meditate”? There are app’s for that, but do they really tell you how? Is the process of sitting with yourself really that easy? Most would say no, that they can not shut off their mind for that period of time and stop the incessant stream of internal dialog. If it was that easy, we would all do it, right?? After all, the benefits of meditating are clear: stress reduction, increased focus, improved self awareness and mood. And if that isn’t enough it has also been shown to slow the aging process and improve cardiovascular and immune health!
Early on when I began practicing yoga, what I found was that it took discipline to achieve a successful meditation practice. For me, it was only during chavasana at the end of a very intense yoga practice and focusing on a simple mantra of gratitude, that I could achieve a meditative state. Overtime, that state expanded in me during yoga or when I was running long distances. However, time (and injury) has shown me that I can sit in stillness, in that place of gratitude, at anytime, in any place.
Gratitude Mantra: “Thank you for this place, for the people in my life, for my teachers and my openness to learn. Thank you especially for this beautiful body, heart and mind that I may continue to find gratitude in every blessing and kindness given to me and that I may in turn offer these to others in gratitude.”