I’ll be the first to admit it: meditation isn’t for everyone. Yoga is great for achieving mindfulness, and bringing awareness to how our bodies respond to relaxation. However, for me personally, meditation and relaxation are usually last on my list of priorities.
Over time, though, that can lead to problems. At this time of year, as we face going back to school — and the craziness that comes with the fall season — there’s no better time to get your stress levels in check.
In Pilates, we get a ton of focus, awareness and calming of the nervous system. Meditation, however, is a whole other beast. I’ve dabbled; I’ve tried different apps, like Take a Break! Meditation Oasis, and they seem to help. But there’s an important question that I ask myself almost every time that I have to set aside a moment for this sort of targeted stress release: why meditate at all?
Simply put, there is a direct correlation between high stress levels and countless health issues like lowered immune system, lowered sex-drive, muscle tension, headaches, and trouble sleeping. [Source] Without a doubt, meditation will aid in your longterm health in a unique way. Other forms of exercise just don’t have the same sort of targeted, well, ommm-ness.
What if you’ve never tried meditating before? For sure, it can seem intimidating. Even if you’re not someone who mediates regularly, or ever, try 5 mins either in the morning or at night. To do this, find a quiet space and try to stay seated instead of lying down. This is mainly so you don’t fall asleep. For beginners, apps and YouTube videos are perfect resources. There are lots of great sources for guided meditations out there, but if you’re skeptical about guided meditation, just allow yourself to breathe and focus. Over time, you’ll notice that the practice doesn’t seem quite as strenuous. The time will pass more quickly, and you’ll be more connected to the present and your breath.
Alright, I’ve spilled mine. So tell me, what’s your favourite way to relax?