Om your way to calmness
“Ok now everyone close your eyes, sit still and meditate.”
What? Mediate? Isn’t this a teacher training class? Why do we have to mediate? These were the first few thoughts that came to my mind when asked to mediate the first time. So simply listening to the instructions, I began my first meditating experience. It was fine for the first minute as Hui Yan was giving us verbal pointers like sit straight, spine erect, slow steady breaths and so on. But once she stopped giving those pointers and the room fell silent, my eyelids start to resist me and attempt lift themselves against my wishes to peek around the room, then I start to notice the numbness sensation in my legs. Following which my whole body starts to protest starting from the mind that says this is enough and lots of random thoughts ran through despite the instructions to free the mind, then my eyes fight to open itself, shoulders start to slump…
Just as I was trying to sneak in a massage for my feet, Hui Yan gave the merciful instruction to open our eyes. Phew. meditation is hard. I began to wonder how some people are able to sit still and mediate for hours or even days. Following this, Hui Yan began to explain that meditation is part of the yoga path. It is one of the way in which the yogis train their mind and concentration. In the days to follow, there were more mini meditation sessions. The most intense session was having to meditate for an hour. During that hour, I massaged my foot about 2 – 3 times, shifted about in my seated pose a couple of times. Thoughts were coming in and out of my mind whenever they were not overpowered by the sensations felt by my legs. Though I tried hard to sit still and ignore the tingling sensations, it was extremely difficult. Finally when we were able to get out of the session and stand up, I fell flat on my bum while trying to stand for my foot were so numb that I cannot feel them.
To try it, set yourself in a room free of distractions like the radio or television. To start you may play soothing music on a low volume while you mediate. Once the environment is set, start by sitting comfortably with legs crossed or in a lotus pose (if you can manage that), spine straight, palms resting on your knees, eyes closed and focus on your breath. Focus on your inhale and exhale, breathe slow and steady. Even if there are stray thoughts creeping into your mind, just let them come and go, do not dwell on any of it. Start with 5 mins then slowly prolong the session whenever you are ready. After each session you should feel rested and calm – at least that is what I felt.
Meditation is a method in which the yogis use to listen to their inner voice, dive into their deepest mind level and find their centre and be grounded. By centre I mean their purpose in life, grounded means not easily swayed or influenced by external temptations. Through meditation, the yogis are also channelling the energy generated by their chakra into the other parts of their body to purify and strengthen it. We often hear the saying: “Mind over body”. Meditation is exactly that, it is a mental training. With each strengthening, we are able to ignore the pain and the aches in our muscles and stay longer in our yoga pose, reaping more benefits the pose has to offer. With each strengthening, we are able to control our mind and not let it manipulate us.
It may be a long time before I am able to sit still for an hour and still my mind completely without falling asleep..but with each baby steps I take in my meditation practice, I am sure I will reach it eventually. Till then… it is now time to sleep and rest my physical body….
YTT 200hrs Weekday Sept 2015