Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
- Lao Tzu
The question "why meditate?" has been answered by many. From Scientific American (we have this issue available for you to read in our studio) to the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, scientific institutions are now recognizing the value of an established yoga and meditation practice.
Emerging research into a regular practice's benefits is now mainstream. Among the benefits suggested by this research are
On a personal level, "why meditate?" seems clearly answered to me as a decade-long, daily practitioner as well. Whereas at first, I dreaded sitting for meditation, I now crave it. It is the first thing I do in the morning and I rarely want to stop once I've started.
But how do you get to that point? Because I hear so many beginners telling me that meditation is not for them. That their mind is too busy or chaotic or uncontrollable for meditation to work. That they get bored
I can only repeat what my own teacher has said to me many times. If you are bored sitting quietly with yourself, what does that say about you? Why would anyone else want to be with someone who is bored with themselves?
My instinct is that these would-be meditators are not actually bored but scared. I can relate. Stepping into the void of my own mind has been deeply uncomfortable at times.
Believe me, I did not begin with a calm and quiet mind. Meditation has developed that kind of mind.
And it can for you too. It won't always be easy but I promise that if you stick with it, you will see dividends. Probably larger than you could have ever imagined.
So now to the more important question: how to meditate? Well, there are many ways to meditate - walking meditation, mantra meditation, vipassana meditation, etc.
I always suggest a few principles for people asking me how to begin meditating.
For those eager to dive in, I offer a breath-centered meditation. I like breath-centered meditation for beginners for a number of reasons. It gives something very concrete for the mind to focus on. It is secular in nature. And the breath is always with us, so it's easy to use at any time.
I hope you find that glimmer of peace you're seeking.
A 15-Minute Beginner Meditation Practice
Want more guidance on how to meditate? Join Erin for a three-week Beginner Meditation Workshop in January. It's the perfect way to start the new year!
Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
FIVE KEYS YOGA
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Five Keys is fantastic! The studio is lovely and soothing, and the teachers are very caring and attentive.
I've ... probably been to 25 different yoga studios. This is one of the most welcoming, calming spaces with very talented instructors.
I love this yoga studio. It's a great balance of a good workout and relaxation and feels like a real community.
An ideal studio for someone new to yoga.