Meditation Unboxed

Sitting outside in the quiet, yet vibrant stillness, I pause to meditate. I go to my meditation app, where my guide tells me to find a comfortable seat and close my eyes and bring my awareness to my breath. So, I did as I was told. The feeling of breath entering and exiting my nostrils was quite enchanting and miraculous, but I started to fidget. My back was hurting, I couldn't get a deep enough breath, and my eyes kept blinking open. I was getting upset with myself. I'm a yoga teacher and I meditate regularly... why can't I do this this right now? 

I acknowledged this feeling and my short breaths and responded. Instead of fighting the situation and forcing myself into a little meditation box, I let go and surrendered into the moment. My eyes couldn't stay closed because I couldn't stop looking at how the tip tops of the trees were golden from the sun rising and shining his gorgeous, golden light upon them. I couldn't sit still because I could feel nature moving all around me and I wanted to be a part of the bird's flight, the squirrels dance, and the fluidity of the wind gliding with the garden. My breath was short as a result of missing the moment and forcing something that simply wasn't happening.

In this instant I was reminded of how sacred meditation is if we surrender into what is. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Sure, we have suggestions, methods, and techniques that can help immensely, but to meditate is to be aware. When we become aware of our breath, our pulse, our miraculous bodies, and surroundings, we will begin to find deep gratitude in each moment and for this life. When we live from a place of gratitude we will always know peace, we will always have an understanding of just how lucky we are to be alive and present right here, right now. 

It is all too easy to let our external distractions take over. We get consumed and overwhelmed by daily stress, chaos, and life's inevitable intensity. But when we realize that the ONLY thing we know for sure in this life is our physical impermanence, then we realize how incredibly important it is to meditate often and with right intention. Meditation should not make you stressed and definitely shouldn't leave you feeling guilty or frustrated... meditation is merely mindfulness. When we become mindful in our everyday moments, we then find reason to celebrate our everyday moments. The little things in life really aren't so little!

A regular meditation practice can definitely help you achieve this state of mindfulness on the regular, but please know it doesn't have to be confined into what you think it should be or what you saw a yoga teacher doing on instagram. I LOVE meditation apps and breathwork, don't get me wrong! Sometimes they serve me beautifully, but it is so important to respond to your natural rhythms and the cycles in nature, which don't always mean sitting quietly by an alter for 20 minutes (sometimes that is exactly what we need, though). The idea is we must become AWARE of what we NEED in each moment (note: what we need isn't always what we want). Awareness. 

Sip your turmeric latte and NOTICE. Walk in the grass barefoot and NOTICE. Open your eyes and NOTICE. Close your eyes and NOTICE. Sit quietly and NOTICE. Dance aimlessly and NOTICE. Just take the dedicated time to NOTICE- everything. The details, the sounds, the feelings. SAVOR it, yogis!

With love and light,

Alee