Going Inward – Finding your Zen to De-Stress
My sister was reading over some content I had created for my Online #TEAMSMART girls this week and she said at the end; ‘I forgot you do all that meditation stuff cause you start you fitness journey with yoga.’ I laughed, I laughed at the ‘stuff’ referral and that she assumed I had just stopped meditating cause my yoga practice had stopped. I actually started my journey with meditation, it lead to the yoga teacher training.
10years ago I was in a bad place with; work, money, loosing friends that I thought where close to me, and thats when I found meditation. When I first started I would follow a 5min guided meditation app 3 times a week, I soon increased it to 10mins, then 15mins and then to everyday, I now either sit in silence or listen to a chant for 10mins 3-4times per week.
I too this day, honestly put meditation down as the reason I got the strength to get out of that dark place. In those minutes ea. day I had a chance to breath, clear my head of the workplace bullying, growing debit and the fact some of my friends stopped message back much less asked if I was ok, I was allowed to forget everything, and just breath, connect with how I really felt and then the old me started to shine threw. I got myself out of my hole, got my shit together applied for every job possible, told everyone I spoke to I was looking for a job, any job! And then the job come knocking, walked into the office of my then job and said ‘I’m leaving, here’s my 2 weeks notice and if I so much as hear a nasty word or see one look or snicker in the next 2 weeks I’m walking out the door.’ It was the businesses busiest 2 weeks of the year but Rowena was back, the REAL Rowena, the real Rowena had a set up balls but also had integrity hence why I gave 2 weeks notice instead of just walking out.
I think meditation is under appreciated by so many and shrugged off as a Yogi practice, but it is something I think would benefit everybody.
Here are my tips to Meditation:
Use an App
Personally I can’t handle guided apps anymore, I find they interrupt me as I’m hitting my zen (that moment you connect and feel your internal sway, you honestly feel like your rocking), I prefer silence or a chant so I can feel the vibrations, even if I don’t chant with it. But for a beginner guided apps are great! Use the app to help you get into the routine of breathing and bringing your focus back to your breathing.
The apps I used to use are no longer in the store, but I suggest searching ‘yoga meditation’ in the store so you get something that is more targeted at going inwards. You could try the Headspace app, but I’m not a fan, tried it but just didn’t do for me.
My Favourite chant is the Gayatri Mantra, there is so many versions of it on music apps so find the one you like the best!
The term “being present” is thrown around a lot these days. But I think it is about letting go of whatever else is going on in your life and focusing on the here and now. A physical practice that requires focus can give your frantic mind a break. This might just let the real you shine through.
There are many ways to turn inward. But for me it was about connecting with my body, being still and silent, undisturbed to connect with myself.
Pratyahara is the fifth of the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga. (my 2nd yoga education was in Ashtanga, try it it’s tough!) Nischala Joy Devi describes it as “Encouraging the senses to draw inward.”
By eliminating distractions, you begin to see that everything you need is within you. That you already have the capacity for happiness, fulfilment and greatness. You just need to uncover it.
Something very important for you to remember when you start meditating is that it won’t be perfect from your first session, your mind will wonder and you will be all over the place, just continue practicing and you will find your zen.
Not keen on meditation, here’s some other tips for turning inward in everyday life:
1. Take time each day to be quiet.
This could be a short, uncomplicated five-minute mediation. Or maybe find a sunny spot outside to sit and absorb the sun.
2. Practice forward folds.
LAYING KING PIGEON SHOELACE STANDING FORWARD BEND
Above are my favourites. It is more calming to get your forehead to connect to something so if you can’t get your forehead to touch in one of the above poses place something between the floor and your forehead or hold your elbows in the forward bend so your forehead connects with your arms.
3. Do one thing at a time.
Multi-tasking is lyfe, I get it, it’s the only way everything gets done in my day running my 2 businesses and running a house hold. But each day pick one thing to solely focus on, for example prepare dinner without talking on the phone, check-in emails, or doing the dishes. (options are endless)
4. Do Yin yoga.
Yin Yoga is my favourite yoga! The best book I’ve found to date is: Yin Yoga: An Individualized Approach to Balance, Health, and Whole Self Well
(I am not affiliate with this author in anyway just a book I loved)
So you don’t need to meditate to turn inwards and connect with the real you, there is many ways you can do it, you just have to stop and give it a go.
P.s. Team Smart girls get ready for the Guided Meditation section of the new website, it’s going to be AMAZING!