Welcome to Week 3 of March Meditation
Well, I apparently took this topic seriously and didn't come back to make sure the blog got posted. I took a break and allowed myself to be still. This is a stark contrast from previous meditation topic: Mudras & Movement. Balance. Balance. Balance. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to listen to what your body is telling you. We live in a society where, even in a pandemic, we anxiously participate in the "hustle and bustle" culture.
Body awareness is one of the most powerful tools you have within you, but that means we actually have to listen to it. Slowing down can be difficult for many and even a fearful experience for others. What would happen if you chose to be still for a few minutes? What would happen if you allowed your body to speak louder than your mind? What would your body tell you? And how would you respond when it did speak to you?
Stillness is the most common first thought when people think about meditation. As a knee jerk reaction, the response is often "I can't sit still that long". As you've seen for the first 2 weeks of March Meditation, you don't have to sit still in order to meditate, but stillness remains a component of meditation and mindfulness practices.
Now, before you jump to skip this part because maybe you don't want to sit still... take a moment and write down all the times you were still in the last week. I'm not just talking about sitting on the couch to watch TV or scroll through your phone. How many times did you sit to listen to your breath, take a yin or restorative yoga class, sit in the bathtub or take a few minutes in your car before getting out, etc.? How many times did your body get a chance to speak?
Take a restorative yoga class. At Bhavana Yoga Studio, we like to call it "Adult Nap Time". This practice balancing the nervous system, relaxes the body, invites in a more mindful breath, and so much more.
Take a bath or soak your feet. Add essential oils to the water or epsom salt!
Don't skip Savasana at the end of your yoga practice!
Journal for 5 minutes everyday. There are many journals with prompts or insightful questions that can help guide you if you're unsure.
Take a nap! This not only is still, but honors the body by giving it much needed restoration.
Sit by the ocean or a lake. You might bring a book or journal with you. Allow yourself to observe your surroundings and your breath.
Practice Pranayama (breath practice). You can find one that resonates with you via YouTube or Google, or click here for Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) 14 minute guided practice from Meditation 30.
You may have read our previous blog talking about self-care. Self-care has been popularized as a luxury, something we must carve out time for or attend. This thought process leads people to feel as though access to self-care isn't always attainable. But self-care is not just pedicures or massages. When we can include subtle practices of self-care in our day-to-day, we give ourselves the opportunity to stay connected and rooted in our true self. Self-care is creating a life that you don't have to escape from to recover.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule to optimize rest, take naps when you are able to.
Be mindful about social media that you're choosing to let into your feed and set boundaries. Take breaks and give yourself space to sign off.
Set clear boundaries with friends and family. The Mindful Kind podcast on Spotify has an episode on Healthy Boundaries
Connect to the people who bring out the light in you.
Do this 11min Body Scanning Meditation from Meditation 30
Don't abandon your creative outlets or the things that inspire you.
Be kind with your thoughts by practicing self-compassion. Become aware of the times that you participate in damaging thoughts towards yourself. Notice the triggers and find ways to acknowledge and work through them.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO REST AND
ALLOW YOUR BODY TO SPEAK LOUDER THAN YOUR MIND