I was reading an article from a link sent to my email by the Chopra Center. It was about meditating, which is something that I have long struggled with. This is quite possibly because I felt that I didn’t have the whole Mind Body Connection thing going on or that I just wasn’t feeling what I thought I was supposed to feel. I also didn’t perceive that I had the time to devote to meditating and stillness. How would I, what with a full work, commute, and mothering schedule?
This article actually got my mental wheels turning a bit as it discussed making and finding space for self reflection and care by identifying gaps in time to put toward this practice. I began to consider the transitions between one activity and another and how I might try to use those moments to actually do some good for myself since I feel that I don’t have a lot of free time.
For example, I love going to yoga class. I like being in the class environment because I feel that holds me accountable to actually honor my practice for a full 60 Minutes without interruption. I enjoy the studio I’ve been going to for the past 3 years quite a bit, but their schedule has changed recently and the classes that I favor no longer coincide with my post-work availability. What’s a busy mama yogi to do?
My practice began to wane as I was no longer attending yoga classes with any regularity. My body and mind felt the consequences of this infrequency. I went to my massage therapist due to increased tightness in my upper back and shoulders. I discussed the woes of my restrictive schedule and lack of time for yoga classes. My massage therapist then enlightened me about Yoga with Adriene, which is a YouTube channel that you can subscribe to. She gave accolades about what a great instructor Adriene was, and how you can practice at your own pace and on your own time for free by subscribing to the YouTube channel.
I went home and I did just that. What I love about the Yoga with Adriene channel is the variety of yoga programs available. There are yoga sequences to help with waking up or winding down. She has sequences that focus on different regions of the body. As someone confined to a desk at work, I appreciate yoga flows that help relax my upper back, shoulders, and neck. What is also great is that Adriene’s videos vary in length, with some sessions as long as 45 minutes, and others as short as 5 minutes. She even does 30 day yoga challenges, with daily guided flows to follow along to. I figure as busy as I am as a mom that works full-time and also spends an hour and a half in the car each day, surely I can carve out 5 to 10 minutes at least a few days a week to watch one of her videos and go along with the yoga postures. I can honestly say I’ve never felt worse after doing a yoga class.
As far as meditation goes, my massage therapist had an answer for me in that regard as well: Insight Timer. This app is available on Google Play and iTunes for free. I immediately felt the benefit of its use. Why it’s great: it has many meditation offerings ranging from just a few minutes to 30+ minutes. There are guided meditations and there are ones without words such as the sound of waves, rain, chimes, and assorted music. This has been, for me, the best way to reign myself in for some silence and reflection. Or just to help me tune down at bedtime!
I think as a busy parent (are you getting the sense that I feel occupied nearly all the time yet?), it can be easy to lose sight of the passions and interests that make a person uniquely him/her. It takes some conscious effort to reconnect. These are a couple of ways I have found to help me do just that!