5 Ways To Find Stillness & Calm Your Mind
When we meditate, we inject far-reaching and long lasting benefits into our lives. Meditation has been an integral part of my yoga path for a while, but I must admit... it has been an up and down journey.
When I moved to Edinburgh to study a Masters degree, I found myself lonely, depressed and anxious about various things, including finances... it was really tough. Eventually, I went to see my GP. This took so much courage because I felt ashamed for being unable to regulate my emotions, like everyone else seemed to be....
Instead of receiving help, or even a little bit of validation, my GP bluntly told me that to find a councillor would take a long time and the waiting list was massive..."By the time you find a councillor, you will either feel much worse or much better."
And then added - 'you are better off doing yoga or meditation or..... something'.
I was livid and stupid for even allowing myself to be vulnerable. She took my hurt and threw it back into may face. I left her office not even with a pamphlet or some form of understanding.
I felt helpless....
I think back to that walk home from the doctors office feeling completely deflated and alone and my heart goes out to that 21 year old person who was in need of help, but unable to find it... BUT that (probably stressed out and overworked) GP genuinely gave me a gift that day. From her questionable bedside manner came my connection to the healing powers of Yoga and my strong urge to help myself....which now enables me to help many others!
Reluctantly, I searched for affordable meditation and yoga classes. Yoga, I could be on board with but meditation 'just wasn't for me'. I tried one class and decided I wasn't made to sit still and that it was 'counterproductive' - I thought I was wasting time 'just sitting there' and in that time I could be making progress on my Masters dissertation.
Now, with a consistent meditation practice, I have used it to weather difficult seasons in my life over the last few years. A combination of physical yoga practice and meditation (and therapy), I have been learning to make sense of the challenges we face as humans... from small every day problems to big incomprehensible problems and I learn how to deal with it.
I created a simple 10 Day Meditation Course.
While meditation isn’t a cure-all, it can certainly provide some much-needed space in your life. Sometimes, that’s all we need to make better choices for ourselves, our families, and our communities. One small choice better made every day, can have a ripple effect and have more far-reaching repercussions that you might imagine!
Some of the reasons you should consider meditating:
- If you are in over-drive, overworked, burning way more energy that you are producing for replenishment - basically if you are always tired
- If you find your self- talk is lacking compassion and kindness
- If you find it difficult to connect with friends, family and peers
- If you are unable to clearly express how you feel (this was a big one for me - I knew I felt rubbish but I couldn't articulate why)
Just like there are many different styles of yoga - dynamic Vinyasa, really dynamic Rocket, slow but tough Iyengar; slow, tough and mindful Forrest or blissful Yin.... there are equally many different types of meditation, and believe me, I have tried them all (nearly all).
In this 10 Day Meditation Challenge, I have chosen 5 types of meditation as an introduction for you to consider the styles and maybe figure out what works for you. Each meditation is between 10 and 15 minutes a day, so surprisingly short for a Sabina led meditation.
Let's briefly look into them:
1. Mindfullness Meditation
In Mindfullness Meditation we learn how to pay attention to breath and the body and simply notice when the mind wanders from this task. When we pay attention to our breath, we are learning how to return to, and remain in, the present moment—to anchor ourselves in the here and now on purpose, without judgement. I find this the simplest and a very tangible way to help settle and calm the mind.
In the 10 Day Meditation Challenge we will cover Mindfullness Meditation on Day 1 and 6. Day 1, we learn to focus with the help of a body scanning technique and Day 6 with the help of breathing techniques.
2. Mantra Meditation
Think of a Mantra as a word or a phrase you repeat during meditation as a tool to help release the mind. I have found over the years that some of my students find it easiest to concentrate when they work on affirming the same word or a simple sentence mentally or aloud again and again. I love using Mantra on days/weeks when I feel doubt. This is when I form a positive Mantra for myself (the one I am using at the moment is - My Strength = My Baby's Strength).
In the 10 Day Meditation Challenge we will cover Mantra Meditation on Day 2 and 7. Day 2 we connect to Gratitude and Day 7 use the most famous Sanskrit Mantra OM.
3. Elevated Emotion Meditation
Although this is technically not a type of meditation, I love using this technique to change my state. The concept of 'Elevated Emotions' (such as Joy, Awe, Love etc.) has been covered (and possibly even coined) by Joe Dispenza. He is a meditation teacher with a super scientific edge. During his weekends of meditation retreats Joe Dispenza and his team track people's heart rate and brainwaves to demonstrate how powerful meditating is down to a cellular level. He has countless examples of students healing small and big ailments with the power of positive thinking. If you are interested check out his book - Becoming Supernatural.
In the 10 Day Meditation Challenge, we will cover Elevated Emotion Meditation on Day 3 and 8. Day 3 we connect to the Elevated Emotion of Joy and Day 8 do a sweet sweet meditation connecting to Awe.
4. Yoga Nidra
Full disclosure - Yoga Nidra is technically not considered a meditation - it is a totally different yogic discipline. Yoga Nidra translates as Yogic Sleep and is a specific technique designed to bring your mind into a hypnogogic state. With Yoga Nidra, you are lying down and the goal is to move into a deep state of conscious awareness sleep, which is a deeper state of relaxation than a meditative state. I have personally reached states of pure unwind and bliss through this technique. If you are tightly wound (sometimes or often) then this is the technique for you to try and keep practicing!
In the 10 Day Meditation Challenge we will cover Yoga Nidra on Day 4 and 9. Day 4 we go on a short journey to connect to Grounding and Day 9 is a specific yoga Nidra to help you fall asleep (I recommend this one to do in the evening or even better in bed after a warm bath.....so gooooood!).
5. Loving Kindness Meditation
This is another popular meditation technique that can help reduce stress and help build strength from within through self-care, compassion and love. During loving kindness meditation, you focus benevolent and loving energy toward yourself and others. Personally, I came across this technique whilst following an amazing meditation teacher and psychologist Tara Brach. If you enjoy these meditations, then I strongly recommend you check out her work and the many resources, such as meditations and talks she has online. They are simply soothing for the soul.
In the 10 Day Meditation Challenge we will cover Loving Kindness Meditations on Day 5 and 10. Each meditation, while different, has the same purpose - to bring you closer to accepting your self just as you are!
I hope this summary was clear and gives you an idea of what to expect from this course. This is only a taster to get to you started! If you are hooked and want more resources or information then simply reach out to me.
The 10 Day Meditation Challenge is free to my subscribers and £10.00 (one off payment) for everyone else.
The Yoke Wellness Ambassador,
Want to learn more about how you can Feel The Best You've Ever Felt? Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Heather from London says, "I have improved my life so much from it - my favourite newsletter of the week!"