Meditation scares me. I could think of a thousand things I’d rather do than sit in silence trying to, well, not think. Knowing how great it is for the mind, I’ve attempted meditation a handful of times. It never worked. My mind raced over my to-do list, what photo I should post on Instagram, what I’d be wearing later that evening… basically every thought that distracted me from stillness. So needless to say, when I saw meditation was going to be a daily activity during my Aruba trip I was nervous. But then I met Yoga Girl.
Rachel Brathen, who is known as Yoga Girl to her two million Instagram followers, hosted our weekend in Aruba with Philosophy. Rachel exudes positive, calming energy. Upon meeting her, you’re instantly relaxed. After our first meditation circle, I sat down with Rachel explaining that I just couldn’t meditate. She smiled and offered these three tips for meditation beginners:
Meditation Takes Practice
“Meditation practice is called a practice because we’re never done with it. People find it easier to practice the physical aspect of yoga because you move your body. It’s something you can tangibly touch. Meditation works the same way. You have to practice.
Anyone who’s been into yoga knows the first down dog you ever did is horrible. It’s so hard. And then you do a hundred, thousand down dogs and it becomes a resting pose. Meditation is the same. You have to practice. You have to train your mind to sit in silence. Some days it’s easy. Some days it works. Some days it’s totally crazy. But if you practice and stick with it you get better at it. The same way you train a muscle, you train your mind.”
all practices are Different
“There are different types of meditations. Some you focus on the mantra. There are ones that are breath focused. There are mindful meditations where you focus on your surroundings, and the smells. If you’re a visual person, try a visualization type of meditation. It depends what works for you.”
you always have time to meditate
“There is a really good saying, “If you don’t have time to meditate for 20 minutes a day, meditate for an hour.” The idea you don’t have time is an illusion. So if you feel like I don’t have time to give myself 20 minutes to sit in silence and cultivate my inner space, which is the most important part of everything, it’s more important than your job, than your relationships, it’s about how you feel about the world. So if you don’t have time for that, make yourself sit for an hour. Because you need it even more.”
Did I return home a meditating pro? Certainly not! I’m still struggling with at-home meditation. But as Rachel said, it takes practice. But I am happy to report that during Shavasana back at my Yoga-Lates class at Hot Pilates, I finally entered a state of true release.