Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Mental Break

Not just a mental break, but a break from P90X. I'm not really taking a break from the work out, of course. I'm just taking a break from boring you with the details. Last night was Cardio night and there just isn't that much to talk about. It's a fairly easy routine to get through. I can't think of anything interesting to say about it, so instead I'm going to slip in a yoga-related blog posting.

Today I attended my first real meditation class at a yoga studio. I've been trying to mediate at home and I set my goal very low. All I try to do is sit still and mediate for five minutes a day. It sounds easy, but it's really not. Lately I've been so tired from all the P90X work-outs that I fall asleep during my five minutes. I break my session into: 3 minutes of affirmations, followed by one minute of my "things that I'm grateful for list," and the final minute of calming and blanking the mind. It is during this measly ONE MINUTE that I fall asleep. Pitiful.

Because of my tendency to fall asleep during less than 60 seconds of doing nothing with my mind, I refused to let myself get too comfortable during the meditation class. Some of the ladies laid down with pillows under their heads and blankets wrapped over them. I wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds like that. So I sat on a pillow in crossed legged pose. I got through about 10 minutes when I couldn’t take it anymore. The class leader explained that we should breathe through any discomfort. Can somebody please explain this concept to me? How to you 'send breath to the pain' to make it go away? It just doesn't work for me. The more I focus on the pain, the more it hurts.

So I adjusted into a more comfortable position and after I got over the fear of having to clear my throat and the annoying tickle of my wool sweater on my face, I did manage to clear my mind. In fact, I was quite proud of myself at just how much I was able to focus on my breathing with all the things going on in my busy day. I'm excited to continue this class and hope that it helps me with my at home meditation too.


jeff said...

The more I focus on the pain, the more it hurts.

I'm no expert, but I think the idea is to center one's attention on the breathing, even in the face of some, to focus less on the pain and more on the breath.

How to actually *do* that, of course, is something I'm completely at a loss to figure out most of the time.

Karlo said...

Counting 1,2,3 . . . and then focusing on the gaps in between as you shynchronize your breth seems to work for me.

Success Warrior said...

Meditation would probably do me good. My mind doesn't like to sit idle. It would probably enjoy the break. Except that meditating feels like harder work than plain ole thinking. =)