Anyone that knows me could probably tell you that I get stressed out very easily and am quite highly strung as a result. I find it incredible difficult to switch off completely particularly at weekends or when I am trying to sleep or relax and find my mind wandering back to issues at work, mistakes I have made, or the other classic, worrying about the future.
For this reason, when one of my friends suggested going along to a meditation class, I was very keen to try. Anything that trains your mind to switch off and take time to relax is, for me, worth a try. So yesterday I found myself at Yotopia on Mercer Street in a warm dark room listening to a meditation instructor with a very soporific voice.
She talked through the methodology and reasoning behind meditation and the benefits that you can experience. It all sounded very good in theory, but I wondered if it could ever work effectively with me.
So we tried 3-4 exercises, mainly with your eyes closed and focusing on your breathing. More than anything I found it difficult to sit up straight. I am normally always hunched over a laptop screen so it is an effort to remember to do this. Whether it was the warmth of the room, or the fact that I had my eyes closed but I did feel very relaxed whilst I was there. When we left felt, I felt quite spaced out – although I’m not certain if this was an effect of trying to switch off.
I knew it was never going to work first time for me but it is incredibly difficult to avoid thinking about things. At one point, I thought I had done well, and the next, I realised that I was planning what I was going to have for supper. Clearly, there is more work to be done. The instructor said that it is very much a work in progress and that you have to train your mind to block out thoughts and can do this anywhere. In fact she said that you meditate at your desk, on the tube and even walking around.
So I am going to try as a mid-way through the year resolution to meditate for 10 minutes a day and see if I can actually switch off completely. Either that, or I will end up asleep on the tube with my hands in the meditation position and chanting ‘Om’.