Every Tuesday night I attend my Yoga Teacher Training/Holistic Coaching class from 6-10pm. So I work a full day then drag my butt to class to do yoga, meditate, and learn a variety of things, which right now includes Ayurveda and its role in the Cleanse I am currently trying to do (how did that cupcake end up on my desk??). In addition, we do a lot of learning about ourselves through various exercises of the mind – if we are not balanced and fully aware of ourselves, how can we coach others? I am a firm believer in this statement.
After the yoga practice our instructor announces we are going to meditate, per our usual routine. How hard can it be to sit and think of nothing you ask? How about sitting on a hard wood floor for 31 minutes, chanting, using your hands, thinking of sending light through your crown chakra through your third eye, and doing something called an “optic lock” that always seems to give me a headache—sounds relaxing, right? We were told to sit through any pain, which I promptly piped up “I thought weweren’t supposed to suffer?” which was met with stilled silence from our instructor. So I hop up on my bolster (an elongated pillow), lean my back against the wall and sit cross legged, and the meditation begins. And so does the pain—shooting up my back, followed by my feet falling asleep and the inevitable headache. I stretch my feet out and wiggle my toes trying to bring back feeling, and eventually slip off my bolster to finish the meditation. After 31 excruciating minutes it’s over, and our instructor asks, “How was it?” “LONG” I reply. She is amazed as someone else says “Painful” and everyone around me is chiming in about their feet, back, etc. “What about bliss??” the instructor asks—which I am thinking is about as far away as Timbuktu right now.
After our mediation we share a meal and as I am standing in line for grub, a fellow student says how clear she feels after the mediation and how wonderful it was. I am thinking of the bliss I am currently in because I am standing and not sitting on that damn floor. But then I notice that I too feel very clear, things appear to be better defined, crisper. I still ache, but the physical pain takes a back seat to the newfound mental acuity. Huh, I wonder, could that 31 minutes actually have produced more than a reason to remain standing for the next 2 ½ hours of class?
So that brings me to good old Thomas Edison who said, “The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense.” In this situation it plays out like this:
Hard work – I need to get up early and start my day with meditation. No easy feat for me as I ABHOR getting up early (which for me is about 6am). I value sleep—a lot. My mom said when I was a kid I would just announce during the middle of Christmas Eve that I was tired and going to bed. As my relatives looked on in wonderment I hit the sack. I am a dedicated sleeper. Now I need to be a dedicated meditator (is that a word?).
Stick-to-itiveness – I need to get up early every day and do it. See “Hard work” above for the my level of difficulty.
Common sense – Get off the floor! I know the floor kills my body, and the instructor offered a comfy chair, but I was too proud. I am making a beeline for that chair for anything longer than a 10 minute meditation.
Why would I NOT want to start my day with something that makes my mind clearer, colors sharper, and focus laser-like? Bring on the 31 minute meditation—and bring me a chair.