Last night was my Yoga night. I nearly didn’t make it because of a last minute babysitting request from my sister but we managed to sort our evenings without a clash!
I was so pleased that I made it. I really loved the session. I had a great work out and I felt so relaxed by the end of the class.
As the weeks pass by I can feel myself improving and getting more out of it. In the first few classes I was so focussed on watching the instructor, Anna, that thinking about my own body came second. After a couple of weeks it seemed more familiar. Now I feel that with each class I can focus more on the way my body is feeling in every stretch or strengthening exercise. I am getting to know the moves so I can simply listen to Anna rather than having my eyes glued on what she is doing. This leaves so much more room for me to be at one with my breath and my movement.
When I do the moves with a real focus on what I am doing in that moment I get so much more out of them. They become really enjoyable and satisfying rather than simply a coordination challenge. Managing to breathe deeply whilst doing the exercise makes a massive difference too. Using the breath I can stretch further, balance better, hold a pose for longer.
There are so many similarities between yoga and meditation. Both activities are best when they are done really mindfully, with complete focus. You can only be fully present in the moment whilst you are doing the exercise once you feel relaxed because you know what you are doing.
In the same way that my early yoga classes were totally consumed by concentrating on what I was supposed to be doing, the same is true when you learn to meditate. When you first try to meditate you focus on the instructions you are given. After you have had a few goes you know the instructions and so you can simply enjoy the exercise.
With both Yoga and meditation repetition is the key. Our muscles and our minds have memories. Show them how you want them to behave a few time and then they will learn to do it much more easily and without as much effort. The best meditation sessions follow when you learn not to put too much effort in.
Come on a Revitalise Day to give your mindfulness routine a boost, or to get started if you don’t do it already. You will be amazed at the difference some well chosen exercises can make to the way your mind behaves on a daily basis. After a day of guided meditations you will be ready to go it alone and enjoy some meditation time to yourself.