By: Hilary Packin, Yoga Teacher and Owner of Agile Kinetics
Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation for the Workplace
Stressed? Sleep deprived? Lack of focus? Feeling out of control? Meditation is your answer to everything! Wait, what?
The thought of counting your breaths or sitting quietly in a darkened room makes you want to run away screaming? You are not alone. Not at all. In fact, this is exactly how many people feel when thinking about meditation.
Something that attracts you, though. The promise of a light through the chaos of daily life intrigues you, but how ever to get started? When for many, your first experiences with meditation were less than ideal, the hesitation to begin again can be palpable and understandable.
The great news is that you can start small. There are far fewer hard and fast rules for successful meditation than you might think. No period of time or set of steps need to be adhered to. In fact, you can begin to feel the effects of meditation with only one brief practice, no equipment required. Each time you meditate, the results build and build. So, start small. Select a manageable period of time to meditate and commit to doing that every day for the next 21 days (studies show 21 days are what is required to form a new habit.) Give it a try and you may very soon realize that meditation has become as integral a part of your day as brushing your teeth.
Below is an example practice that can help you get started:
- Select a time of day to commit to practice each day. First thing in the morning or before bedtime are often times that are easier to stick to.
- Find a quiet place that will be your dedicated meditation space.
- You can sit on the floor, on some cushions, or in a chair. Your position should be upright and seated tall so the body supports itself. This way, you’ll be set up as well as possible to forget about your body and focus on the mind space.
- Set a kitchen timer or a timer on your phone for a manageable period of time. 3 minutes could be a great confidence building time period to start with on day one, building up by 30 seconds or a minute each subsequent time you practice that you’re feeling confident to do so. It is more important to practice daily than to have occasional long duration meditation sessions.
- Opt to either softly focus on a point a ways ahead of you or alternatively close your eyes and go inward.
- Cultivate awareness of your breathing pattern. Allow it to deepen both on the inhale and particularly on the exhale as this will naturally help you relax into your meditation. You need not control your breath or force it, simply allow it to deepen by bringing your awareness there.
- Scan through your body from bottom to top. As you go, take notice of how each area feels. This is not a time for judgement, just observation.
- Once you’ve moved from feet through legs, up the spine, neck, and to the crown of the head; repeat the process again. This time through, take the feedback you observed and allow areas of tension or greater sensation to begin to soften by bringing your awareness to them.
- Repeat this process again and again slowly each time through relaxing and letting go more and more.
- Naturally, your attention will wander. This is not only perfectly ok, it is the exercise itself. Your only job here is to notice that this has happened and begin again. The very essence of the meditation is to be mindful of your thoughts. When you realize they have drifted from the meditation, kindly and without judgement, return your focus to the meditation at hand and simply begin again.
- And finally…guess what? You just meditated.
Hilary Packin is the co-founder of Agile Kinetics – Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation for the Workplace. She has been featured on ESPN, Telemundo News, Haute Living Magazine, South Florida Luxury Guide. However more importantly, her true passion is teaching yoga and meditation. In addition to teaching corporate and private classes with Agile Kinetics, Hilary also teaches studio classes at We Yogis in Dallas. www.hilarypackin.com & www.agilekinetics.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org