If your mind is highly agitated, negative, destructive or depressive – it’s not a good idea to sit down and meditate.
Why not? Because meditation asks you to face all the thoughts and emotions stored up inside of you and if all you find is negativity, it’s not helpful to sit there daily and focus on this negativity even more.
Take care of your mind like you would take care of your body
Imagine you hurt your shoulder and you are in pain every time you raise your arm over your head. Would you sit down each day and raise your arm or even go to a group fitness class? No, you would get proper treatment and go to physiotherapy to give the shoulder time to heal. When the healing reaches a certain point, you can slowly and gently begin to raise your arm again to regain the natural range of motion in your joint and then you can join a fitness or yoga class if you want.
Like your body needs a certain level of health in order to do sports, your mind needs to be ready for meditation.
So, if your mind is in a constant state of agitation – where could you start to work on it if it’s not sitting meditation?
First, you have to connect to yourself, but not where the biggest chaos is, not where it hurts the most, but where you can feel comfortable with yourself and begin to rediscover love for yourself.
Start with something tangible, something you can connect to immediately and easily. Something that gets you out of your head effortlessly. I am talking about the body. Start to work on your mind trough movement. Try doing something that challenges you physically and you’ll find yourself being free from the chaos of the mind. Do a pushup step-by-step and you’ll be so busy with feeling the body and experiencing what is going on right now, you’ll be present and feel good about yourself.
You can try it:
- Feel your palms pressing into the ground, distribute the weight evenly between both your hands and both your feet.
- Engage your belly.
- Push the heels back, decide if you want to have your knees on the ground or your legs straight – it doesn’t matter, it’s just a decision you make to create a challenge that is neither too overwhelming nor so little you’ll get bored.
- Look down between your hands, raise the corners of your mouth to fake a smile and with your next inhale see how much you’ll need to bend your elbows to feel your body waking up even more but make sure you don’t get so low that your smile disappears. Just find out.
- Exhale and push your arms straight again.
That’s it. With detailed guidance like this you hear and do one thing at a time and your mind is so busy in the present moment that it calms down much easier than it ever would when you just sit still. Btw, it works with every movement – it doesn’t have to be a pushup.
The more chaos in your mind, the more you can benefit from a challenging workout.
In fact, the more chaos in your mind, the more you can benefit from a challenging workout. If someone approaches me and tells me that they need to calm the mind and get rid of the inner chatter, I always recommend doing Yuna Heaven classes.
Important note: If you have depressions or similar, you need medical help and specific therapy first and then let your doctor decide when you are ready to go to a group class.
Through movement, you get in touch with your body and re-connect to yourself. Once you know yourself better and – most importantly – begin to remember how to take care of yourself and love yourself, you can switch to or add a more relaxing physical practice and deal with your thoughts and emotions in a quieter setting. Eventually you’ll find yourself sitting on a bench some day, admiring a sunset and it’ll hit you: Wow, my mind is completely peaceful. I am just sitting here, enjoying this moment and my mind is completely silent.
Meditation will happen for you, when you least expect it. Meditation is nothing you do. It is a natural state that comes to you and doesn’t require a year-long sitting practice.
Also, I’d like to point out that you’ve meditated many times already. Meditation is not a mysterious state of mind that is just for a few chosen ones to experience. You meditated as a child when you were completely immersed in a game, you meditated when you held your baby for the very first time, you meditated when you smelled the coffee in the morning and felt happy about the delicious scent.
Stop chasing some magical state. Stay in this world with the rest of us and let’s begin to care about ourselves, love ourselves and be considerate and kind with each other.
Meditation is part of you already
I love how Mark Whitwell says “Enlightenment is a hoax“ – I couldn’t agree more. Stop chasing after some magical state. Meditation is no escape. On the contrary! Meditation is the embrace of everything that is. Stay in this world with the rest of us and let’s begin to care about ourselves, love ourselves and be considerate and kind with each other.
That’s why we created YUNA – to share a practice that, instead of selling a promise of a mystical goal, help us to live with all our hearts and take care of ourselves and the world around us.
Yuna is mindful movement, we don’t separte body and mind but include all of you into the movement and what happens is: Every movement turns into meditation effortlessly and naturally. By moving the body with care and playfulness, you begin to feel good in your own skin again. When you feel good within yourself, you’ll face the monkey in your head with a smile. We are a body, a mind and a heart. So, why not care about everything we are at the same time? Why separate the mind from the body or vice-versa? Isn’t the feeling of being scattered, of being separate or alone the base of most of our problems?
Yuna takes care of body, mind and heart simultaneously. No chasing after enlightenment or search for a higher state to escape this world. But instead, this practice is aimed to come home to a deep love for yourself and the humans around you and the world we live in.
Comment below and share your views, worries, stories, positivity and thoughts with me. Or send me a DM on Instagram @suzannefreiherz
Photo by Thu’ Anh.