Yesterday evening, Lin and I went to the yoga studio to try an hour of meditating. We both signed up for the Summer Special where you can take unlimited classes during July & August, and next to the different types of yoga (I’ll talk about that soon) there was an hour of meditating on the Wednesday.
Now, I never meditated at home before this. I can be mindful and actively present during yoga (unless someone in front of is wearing a really cute top and I keep wondering where it’s from), I can focus on being in the moment, but actually sitting down on a pillow and just watching my breath: I don’t really do that.
But last night, I sat down on a meditation pillow and under the guidance of a yoga teacher, we started doing that: focusing on our natural breath, then making it deeper and slower, first from the belly, then the chest. After a while, we came out of the meditation and our yoga teacher made us move around a little so our legs and back wouldn’t get sore, and then we went back in. We did that three times, and in between there was some…chanting.
That’s right. I was ‘ohm’-ing. Hands in front of my chest in prayer and everything. To be honest, it feels weird the first two times, the music nerd in me was wondering if I was doing it at the right pitch, but it wasn’t unpleasant. It felt nice.If nothing else the sound you make vibrate in your chest and that’s funny.
We ended the class with a very elaborate relaxation exercise; we would all lie on the floor and our yoga teacher would talk us through all the body parts we were relaxing. It was a good exercise but my mind wandered; every time the teacher would start talking again, she brought me back to the exercise. Got the job done in terms of relaxing though.
I gotta say, I really liked meditating like this. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Sure, your mind wanders but that’s okay: you can bring it back. Sure, I once peeked to see if there was a clock anywhere (there wasn’t) because I was kind of over it and wondered how long we had left, but once I closed my eyes again and took a deep breath I was back into it.
Focusing on the breath was easy, and so I also became very mindful of sounds around me. I just heard the wind outside, children playing, the other students breathing. I felt my hips on the pillow, my feet on the floor. Nothing bothered me, these sounds and sensations were just there. It was all fine. And that was lovely. I felt some super-relaxed stillness inside me. I really did not know I had that.
When I came out of the class and back home, I felt like I was seeing things better. I can’t really explain it any other way than that my sight seemed clearer. Whereas a night of Game of Thrones got rid of the inner relaxed stillness (IT’S JUST SO EXCITING!), it was very to access that again this morning when I sat down and started writing. I feel all calm and shit.
So basically, I dig it. I am definitely trying another class and I’m starting some light at home meditational practice as well: I think I can manage 5 minutes a day of sitting still on a pillow.