As readers know, I am currently in the throws of my yoga teacher training and last week’s homework was to begin a daily 10 minute meditation practice. I am having a lot of trouble with this particular request. I find myself not even thinking about how I can fit this practice in my daily routine.
I didn’t think it would be this hard because I am am already practicing once a week at work where a group of us sit for 15-20 minutes. I am just plain avoiding sitting quietly with myself. Hmm…
I didn’t used to have this problem, but thinking about it a bit, I’ve really stressed myself out with a whole bunch of worry and concerns, all of my own making (all in all, my life is going great at the moment). I was suffering from fatigue, insomnia, and a lack of motivation (I even felt like my hair was shedding more than normal). I didn’t see this as stress at first and got my thyroid checked just in case! My annual check up and blood work confirmed that I do not have any underlying physical illness. Alas, it was the stress and that is what was making it difficult to sit with myself. I also noticed that I had trouble exercising on my own as well.
The good news, is that once I recognized this, I began to take steps to relax more – do more yoga, drink hot tea, take a hot bath, use aromatherapy, and generally slow down to smell the roses, which I did in the florist the other day. Now I am ready to sit. Ironically, meditating even for just 10 minutes a day has many health benefits, with stress relief at the top of the list.
I was also ready to get my exercise back on track now that I was feeling better. For those of you who have read a previous post “Dear Hamstring: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” will remember that I wrote about my previous hamstring injury and how is had hamstrung my capacity to run for the past three years. Outside of my cycling classes, I wanted to revamp my motivation to exercise on my own and still wanted to run. I chose to begin running for 10 minutes a couple of times a week. So far I still have a dull ache, but no pain. Enough to keep going.
So why go into these long stories? Because sometimes 10 minutes is all it takes. I find it no coincidence that I am beginning practices that are two sides of the same coin – meditation and exercise. These two are also the greatest stress-busters around.
So what is your 10 minutes? Is you are stressed out why not choose to get started on something to help you relax. Maybe it’s taking a 10 minute walk before, during or after work, maybe it’s playing with your kids for 10 minutes everyday. Think of things that you really want to do like a forgotten hobby. 10 minutes of painting, writing poetry, or playing an instrument is a great way to reconnect with a passion.
I’m grateful for my yoga training, it’s teaching me the importance of simply being with myself in the present moment. I great lesson, indeed.