So You’re Thinking About Trying to Meditate? 3 Things I Think You Should Know

I don’t pretend to be Eckhart Tolle or DeePak Chopra (if you don’t know who these people are don’t worry about it). Sure I own a Yoga Studio (YogaHub) and have been a Yoga Teacher since about 2008 and although you might think all I eat is lettuce, I can wrap both legs around my head and I meditate from 3am to 4.30am every morning after standing on my head  I can assure you I struggle with routine just as much as you do and I’m a pretty normal guy (I think) just trying to figure it all out day by day like everybody else. For the record I can’t even come close to wrapping my legs around my head!

What I can tell you is that I do try to Meditate on a daily basis. Why?

Because I don’t know whether you’ve noticed but life is crazy and so is your mind if it’s left to it’s own devices. That’s my experience of it anyway.

Because I want to experience life in the moment as it happens rather than unconsciously going through the motions. I’m sick of that to be honest. I want to be here. I want to enjoy the ride as it happens.

Because I want to be really present for the people that are important to me.

Does any of this sound familiar?

I read books on Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga a lot of the time when I’m not reading about Management, Communication or whatever else I’m faced with having to learn on a daily basis as our company grows. I’ve gone on those infamous silent retreats (Vipassana) and have spent time in India in Ashrams practicing Yoga and Meditating.

I lead Meditation practices on a weekly basis and we generally have a discussion afterwards about the challenges that each person faced during the practice and so with all of this  I wanted to share a few of these common experiences I’ve noticed in myself and others that might help you if you are considering starting a Meditation practice.

  1. Expect Your Mind to speed up and not slow down at the start

When we think of the images on the internet or on the cover of books about Meditating it’s always some Spiritually Enlightened being looking serene, calm and the epitomy of stillness. So when we begin we feel that this is the place that we are trying to reach.

I’m going to do you a favour and tell you this more than likely is not going to happen immediately. Your mind is probably used to thinking constantly about whatever happened yesterday, whoever said something that you did or didn’t like, what you’re going to eat later, or do tomorrow or at the weekend and with who……………the list goes on and on and on. And all of this is perfectly normal and OK!

The importance is beginning the practice of watching whatever thoughts your mind is throwing up and letting them go as much as you can. It’s just like a Spring clean of your place. It’s a pain in the ass but how good does it feel once it’s done?

2. Be prepared to feel lots of things like getting annoyed with yourself for feeling like you’re doing it wrong. 

So if the idea is to sit down, sit up as straight as you can, close your eyes and calm your mind then if you’re really Goal-Oriented and want to ‘Win’ at meditating you’re going to get really annoyed with all of the thoughts that you are noticing and feel like you are ‘Losing’. Let me tell you those thoughts are always there but we’re starting to actively observe the thoughts and it can be really annoying for people and frustrating.

I’ve seen people huff and puff, fidget like mad and, not often, but sometimes jump right up and utter something like ‘F*&$k this’ and storm out. This is all completely normal.

Meditation is about learning to sit/to be with whatever is happening within your experience within the moment. It’s not about sitting at the top of a mountain somewhere in the Himalayas in lotus position as the sun rises in a state of blissful ecstasy. If that was all it was about it really wouldn’t be very helpful if you lived in Dublin or London or wherever and sat on public transport every morning and evening coming to and from a job in a building with 100s of other people in a business district with 1000s.

3. Know that there is no such thing as doing it Wrong. Trust me on this One!

I’d say people reading this will think to themselves I’m an absolute lunatic with this one and I just don’t get it. I mean everything we learn has a right way and a wrong way of doing it. Some people are better at it. Others aren’t. The more you do anything the better you get at it right?

Sure if someone has a regular Meditation practice they will have a better understanding of it but that’s not to say they have days where they feel like they’re right back where they started on their first day.

The importance is showing up. You read about anything like showing up to the gym, or to the park for a run, or to the piano or guitar. It’s so true. It’s going to be difficult at the start but if it wasn’t so good for you then why the hell are you reading this? You’re reading it because, like me, you’ve been seeing blogs, social media posts, newspaper articles on the benefits of Meditation for pretty much everyone.

Who doesn’t want to experience life in each moment as much as possible?

Who doesn’t want to worry/think less?

Who doesn’t want to move through life less reactive and more Calm?

It was absolute torture for me the first time I did it. I found it to be the most physically challenging thing I had ever done and at the time I was extremely fit from not being able to sit still I guess. I still struggle with it and fall out of routine and when I do I find my experience of life becomes so much tougher. That’s just my experience though.

I’ll leave it there hoping that this is helpful in some way if you are thinking about trying to start Meditating. I’ve already linked it but Calm is a great App as is HeadSpace and they both give free trials so why not start today or tomorrow and let me know how you get on.

Happy Meditating (Don’t take it too seriously) and Thanks for Reading!

 

Matt

Author Matt

I started YogaHub out of a room at the back of someone else's house back in 2012 with nothing more than an idea. I'd been teaching Yoga since 2008 and had no intention of opening a Yoga Studio. I think, like everything I've done, I just decided one day I was going to give it a try. And try I did and if you're reading this I guess I'm still trying.

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