Have you ever tried yoga or meditation? Tell us about your experience.
Newly returned from an extended time overseas and in a different city times were lonely. As an introvert spending time alone is not something of which I am afraid, in truth I relish it. However, we are not solitary creatures and in an effort to nurture new connections and make friends I joined a number of after work activities.
One of the girls in the hockey team I joined invited me along to her Thursday night yoga classes. It was a first for me and I confess to having spent most of the hour and a half catching up or recovering from strange postures my body had never been placed in. The language was quite different to anything I’d heard before too. They talked about asanas, chakras, auras and being grounded. Goodness knows I needed some of that. I found it hard to settle after two years’ overseas travel and had become quite the scatter brain. I liked the gentle movements, the strange ethno-sounding music that was at first distracting, became a soothing accompaniment to the graceful poses. The sense of ‘all is well with the world and all creatures are welcome’ was an inclusiveness I hadn’t experienced previously. Thursday nights in the yoga class became non-negotiable as it was a place of shaking off anxieties and calming the soul to peacefulness. I lost touch with that lovely community of yogis when I moved country; they are a fond memory.
Years later when I became pregnant with our son, another friend invited me to her yoga class. This time it needed no thought and I attended regularly throughout the pregnancy. Admittedly, the altered centre of gravity was a little disconcerting yet it loosened me up as no other form of exercise could. The birth was easy if not painless and I recovered quickly which I attribute to yoga. I tried to continue after our son was born but post natal depression and anxiety overrode all good intentions not to isolate myself.
In a different country yet again, yoga is something to which I have returned on several occasions. Sad to say it’s a place I go when other forms of exercise have not brought the release from tension that I have been searching for. More recently when I have attended yoga I find my mind more engaged with the process of the poses. This singular focus on what is going on in the body and how poses are formed, completed and held has a soothing effect and becomes a type of meditation.
As far as conscious meditation goes it is not a form of relaxation that I have mastered for myself. I have more success with a guided meditation during which the speaker’s voice becomes the instrument that helps me find the pathway to that place of peace and quiet.
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