Some people are more innately ‘zen’ than others. Sarah is one of those people. Whenever I see her, I think, ‘How the bejesus does she always stay so calm?’ Okay, so she’s a yoga teacher and life coach – and runs the brilliant Yummy Yoga, but still…the woman is so chilled (and she has a toddler). (If ever I go mad and get knocked up again, I’m booking into one of their weekend workshops to get the bump some oms. Side note: both Alex and I swore by yoga during our pregnancies. For me, working full time, it was the one time in the week I was guaranteed to sit down and wholly relax/snooze.)
However, having read this, I think I begin to get an inkling as to why Sarah appears so calm All The Time. Here she is. Looking sunny and relaxed, obvs. And here’s her advice….
“The idea of spring cleaning doesn’t fill me with joy. More like dread. But, once I get into the task and start throwing out unwanted clutter, I feel both immense satisfaction and relief. This has got me onto thinking… why not make this the month when I spring clean my mind, too? A month where I delve into the depths of my pantry and my mind!
I know what you’re going to say: how on earth would I do that, you yogi person?
Meditation. I’ve got my diary out and I am dedicating an hour a day for the next two weeks to meditation.
Okay, you might not – you probably don’t – have that much time to set aside. I get that. But any time you can spare is great. And everyone can make some time. You can meditate anywhere. (Yep. Even on the train on the way to work.)
Meditation is used to open and clear the mind, as well as for healing purposes. It mentally calms you and physically relaxes you – and we all need a bit of that.
I wonder whether some of you are cringing at the thought of sitting cross legged and in silence for longer than 30 seconds. [Ed’s note: Me! Me!] Stop right there! That is one way to meditate and it’s good way, but is a pretty advanced practice if your mind is prone to be quite busy (you know, one of those people who’s mind is constantly all over the place, leaping from one thing to another). So, forget sitting crossed legged if you find it awkward, don’t burn incense if the smell tickles your throat, or chant words that have no meaning for you. They are entirely optional. Meditation has many forms, only the theme remains the same: creating clarity through calm.
So to me watching your breath is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation; walking the dog is meditation. As long as these activities help create peace of mind, they are effective meditation.
How simple is that? See? I told you there was time to meditate.
I will see the world as it is, I will accept the world just as it is, and in the clarity of that awareness, I will see the peace, harmony, laughter and love
Warning! Like spring cleaning your cupboards, as we look underneath the surface of our mind (behind the day-to-day ‘when will I get to the post office/supermarket; what shall I cook for dinner; I need to call mum/make that dentist appointment’ etc) many of us will realise the depth of clutter to be removed.
But, like the spring clean, all you need to do give is time, and resolve to make space for activities in your life that create peace of mind. Please do let me know how you get on, @YummyYogaSarah”
Sarah Oakley is a yoga teacher based in Hertfordshire specialising in Pre and Post natal yoga. Find out more here.
Images: The Law of Attraction