Ohm A Little
Come to find out it is actually more like
During my yoga teacher training, we did this a lot. Sitting in an ashram in Bali any reservations I had about audible ohm’s were quickly released. There was the heat, the mosquitos and, did I mention the heat? I had priority every day and that was to sit closest to the fan! I was drenched in sweat before my 3 block walk to the ashram. I didn’t have time to worry about sounding silly whilst ohm-ing.
One day we did a 108 mala practice. If you are not familiar with this, let me share. You have a necklace that has 108 beads, and you ohm on each bead. The goal is to go as slow and smooth as possible. I had never done this before and it was so beautiful. You lose yourself in the rhythm of the ohms. Not only do you hear yourself, but you hear everyone else. Everyone doesn’t go at the same pace and soon is it a lovely melody that is intoxicating and enchanting. The rhythm takes you away.
During my yoga teacher training, I enjoyed the meditative parts the best. We also learned how to teach yoga Nidra and it is equally as engaging.
But here’s the deal. You don’t have to do yoga teacher training, spend months in an ashram, or travel to the far-off corners of the globe to practice meditation (or yoga!).
Sometimes meditation gets a bad rap as being some sort of spiritual hippy sort of thing. There is actually a lot of science behind the benefits of meditation and there are so many different ways to meditate that I know you can find one that suits you.
Meditation can be whatever you want it to be. It can be spiritual or prayerful. Or it can be a place to find calm. It can be an opportunity for you to lift your mood. You can make meditation into whatever works for you. Meditation is a way to quiet your mind. It helps us to step away from all the thoughts and noise that are constantly thrown at us each day. Meditation has been proved to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and help you be more focused as well as many other benefits. Most importantly, it feels good.
Personally, I like to combine meditation and visualization.
What’s the difference?
Meditation is restful. It is time for you to go within. It is a time to quiet the mind and remove thought. Visualization is active. It is time for you to see where you want to go. It is a time to actively see your goals play out the way you want them to. It is an opportunity to be an active participant in creating the future you want to live. If you can see where you want to go, you will be more able to make choices that put you on a path to achieve your goals. Visualization in an important tool in cultivating the you of tomorrow.
Tips for meditation and visualization
Before you even open your eyes in the morning, spend a few minutes in gratitude and appreciation for something. Anything. Sometimes my gratitude is for my pillow. Or my dog lying next to me. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Keep it simple. Just a few minutes of this every morning will greatly impact how your day plays out. It doesn’t mean that things won’t go wrong in your day, but it will impact how you react to them.
Before you go to sleep think of one thing you are grateful or appreciative of today. Again, it can be anything. It doesn't have to be a big win. Small wins are just as important and small wins add up over time. Maybe you worked out today or ate well. Maybe you had a positive interaction with a colleague. Perhaps a dog let you pet him. Or you saw a beautiful bird fly overhead. Maybe you have a roof over your head and clean water to drink. Sometimes it is hard to find appreciation for things we take for granted, but it is important to be grateful and appreciate what you have while wanting to reach higher and accomplish more
Can you find some extra time during your day? Even 5-10 minutes of quiet meditation will help you to refocus, reduce stress, become more centered, reduce anxiety and be better able to meet your goals and objectives for the day. You can simply find a quiet place to sit, find a sound to focus on, or use instrumental meditation music, close your eyes and let go. Some people like a guided meditation when a voice will lead you through a visualization. Either is fine and is a personal preference. If you are just starting out, a guided meditation will give your mind something to focus on to help keep you on track. It is easy for our monkey mind to take over. The monkey mind will want to take over and think of all the things on our to-do list, or everything we didn’t get done. Focus on your breath or the words of a gilded meditation to quiet the monkey mind.
If you spend time in traffic, instead of listening to music or news consider driving in silence. Quiet your mind and let thoughts come to you instead of creating them. Let the silence be an inspiration for your sub-conscience to provide you with ideas and solutions. Sometimes the best ideas come to us while we let our minds be silent.
I spent some time teaching corporate wellness and one of my favorite classes was teaching meditation. I would start the session with everyone tensed and stressed. After 30 minutes there was a visible change in their body. You could literally see the stress and tension fall away. You could see peace and gratitude happen on every single person's face. It was amazing and beautiful and such a testament to how meditation in the middle of the day can make difference in individual well-being.
Take time for YOU. Remember you will be better in every aspect of your life if you choose to take time and fill your own bucket first. Taking care of yourself is not selfish or egotistical. It is beneficial not only to you but to everyone you interact with throughout your day. You will be a better friend, parent, partner, colleague, and person if you take care of yourself first.
Unleash your inner zen!
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