Namaste with me: let’s destress

I have some huge news, guys. I think I’ve discovered the source of Kim Kardashian’s booty. I’ll give you a hint: it’s meditation! Stay with me here, because meditation might not necessarily be exactly what you think it is. Let me explain…
I read an article about the reality TV queen’s fitness routine (don’t judge me) and in it, she discussed how her trainer has taught her to “zone out and lose yourself” while working out – read: meditation! The point here is that there are many ways to meditate. We already know that meditation can reduce stress, help you be more creative, and can help you tap into your inner voice, to name a few reasons. But what is meditation really – and how do you do it?
What is meditation anyway?
Meditation is more about what’s going on in your mind and less about how you get there. Meditating, simply put, is the act of quieting the chatter in your mind and focusing on a mantra or affirmation, or focusing on no thoughts at all. This is often achieved by drawing your attention to your breathing, often while sitting or laying in comfortable position with your eyes closed. But you can also meditate while running, dancing, or doing just about anything that helps you get in the zone and quiet your mind – which is really the key to meditation: quieting the mind.
Let go of expectations
When I was first introduced to meditation, it was by a friend who was very experienced at it. She told me about the divine, life-changing meditations that she experienced. I was so excited to start – but when I did, I expected my experience to be just like what she described right away, and it wasn’t. In fact, it still isn’t. I learned that my friend’s experiences are more visual and dream-like, while my experiences are more of a feeling or an “inner knowing”. We are all different. And, just like learning any new skill, meditation takes practise. The first few times I did it, I ended up more frustrated than relaxed. When I finally started making progress, it was because I let go of my expectations of what it I thought it should be like. Ten minutes of sitting quietly and mentally setting aside thoughts as they pop up may not be profound, but it is still meditation. And the more you do it, the easier –and more profound- it gets.
Accept what is
Meditation can leave you feeling serene, relaxed and just generally awesome. But it’s normal to experience all kinds of feelings during your meditation – some you may not expect. Don’t resist these feelings or judge them. Instead, try to accept them as part of your practise and let them pass. Because we are more sensitive and aware of our inner selves during meditation, existing underlying feelings can come up. Allowing them to exist while continuing on with your session can help you acknowledge, work through and let go of those feelings even when you’re not meditating. Whatever comes up during meditation, let it happen. You can take note of it after your session is done (some people like to keep a meditation journal to track any feelings or insights they have) but during the meditation, just let it be.
Get some help
There are lots of great resources to help you on your path to meditation. Take a class (there are usually some offered through the local leisure guide), check out YouTube for some how-to’s and guided meditations, or download an app (I’m really into one called Relax & Sleep Well right now). Remember that any meditation is better than none at all. It’s not about perfection; it’s just about doing it consistently and seeing where it takes you.
Namaste!
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.

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