Sitting with my Self

Meditation has never really been a big part of my practice. I’ve always liked the concept of it – I even bought myself a meditation cushion a while back – but somehow it just hasn’t seemed to translate into action. Asana has always been my meditation. Dropping back into my body for 60-90 minutes has been the only way I’ve been able to temporarily switch off my mind. It’s what works for me.

Now, however, seems a good time to dust off my meditation cushion. As I wrote in my previous post, after my health went a little haywire, my practice changed. I slowed it down. I replaced many of my usual strong, heating postures with cooling, seated forward bends, gentle hip openers and plenty of Viparita Karani. I had to. I often found myself without enough energy to get through a long series of standing postures. My practice supported me. But I was still looking for more.

In a recent teacher training lecture, we talked about how an overtaxed nervous system can impact on the endocrine and immune systems, leading to all sorts of autoimmune diseases and other stress-related conditions…including skin issues. I already knew my skin flare ups were a stress reaction, but it wasn’t until this lecture that the light bulb finally clicked on. And meditation suddenly became terribly attractive. 

I’m starting gently – 10-15 minutes once a day. Sometimes I forget, or find myself needing to do something more “important” than meditating. I don’t beat myself up over it. I’m aiming to work up to 15 minutes, twice a day. And if it ends up being longer, then awesome!

I end up spending around 10 minutes watching and getting caught up in my thoughts, and only a few minutes in a semi-quiet space, but it’s in those few minutes that something starts to shift. I find it difficult to tell where my body ends and begins. There’s a sense of detachment and, at the same time, a connection that wasn’t there before. It feels like I’m sitting with my Self. A peaceful homecoming.

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