When I began learning Yoga, my teacher suggested I try and meditate for some time. I would grumble about the hundred thoughts that would disturb me each time I tried to do it, but she would advice me to let the thoughts move freely and slowly divert my attention to my breath.
“Just focus on inhaling and exhaling,” she would say, gently.
I tried hard. At times, I would succeed, but for a few minutes. Most of the times,though, I would give up my fight with my thoughts and accept defeat. But, it was sometime last year, as I was watching the movie, ‘Zindagi na milegi dobara’, that realisation struck me.
In a scene when Katrina Kaif asks Hrithik Roshan how he found his diving experience, he replied that it “felt like being in a daze – ‘high‘,” he remarked. She grimaced at his choice of words, and responded, that diving for her was akin to meditation; it was when she would be completely aware of every breath she took. That had me thinking: What was that one activity, when I was aware of every breath I took, focused on just the activity at hand, and had not a single stray thought that could be deemed useless at that particular hour?
I realised, that it was while writing, working on a sketch or reading, that my mind would be in a state of complete rest. Of course, it would definitely aid me in focusing on the activity, and help me with ideas. But, at the end of it all, my mind would feel fresh (like laundry, fresh from the dry-cleaners!). Funny analogy, I know, but that’s just how it felt, up there!
So, that was what meditation was all about!
Indulging in an activity, when your mind takes a break from the daily grind, repairs itself, and leaves you feeling de-stressed.
Ah! That was pretty easy! Why hadn’t I thought about it all this while?
As I began concentrating on this new-found knowledge, I realised I found it easier to actually meditate during my Yoga sessions, too. The thoughts would definitely enter (do they have wings that they fly in and out as they wish?). But, all I had to do, was stop indulging them, and concentrate on my breath, on my nostrils, as I inhaled and I exhaled. That’s just what my teacher was trying to tell me!
Giving your mind a complete break from all the thoughts and allowing it some ‘me-time‘ is so necessary. For our mind. For our sanity.
THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU PRACTICE MINDFULNESS:
Read a book
Spend time in the garden
Cook your favourite recipe
Write in your daily journal
Play with your children
Spend time with your pets
De-clutter your wardrobe
Fold the laundry
Play an instrument
The list is endless!
Any activity you do, gives you a chance to practice being mindful. All you need to do is be in that moment. That’s meditation! That’s how you give your mind the break it deserves. So, the next time you feel like ‘meditating’, just get down to doing your favourite activity, whatever it may be. But remember to focus only on your breath and on the activity. It will be tough, initially, concentrating on the activity and on your breath. But, slowly and steadily, you will get so used to it, that even your busy moments will feel like a session in meditation!
Trust me. I do it. it’s so necessary. But, do take it easy on days you aren’t able to hold it together. We are humans, after all. And, it’s okay to fail. But, shake away those thoughts after a while. And, get your breath in focus. it is what keeps you alive, isn’t it?
So, give your mind a break. Mind your mind.
Like it, Pin it!