A Beginner's Guide To Meditation By BodyPass
Posted on 31 August 2015
Mindfulness, Meditation, Stress - At the moment feeling calm, centered and stress free seems to be what everyone is searching for, but the problem is where to get started! And will taking time to meditate really do anything for me?
This month, the Vie Active team is focusing on feeling relaxed, recharged and renewed by incorporating productive practices and meditation into our routines (We are using the app Headspace - which has a great 10 day free trial).
But we caught up with Bodypass Founder Georgia, for whom meditation helped reduce anxiety, made her more productive and a happier, healthier person to find out her meditation story and tips to get started!
Georgia's Story -
To Just Be…..
I am a perfectionist, I am type A and the words ‘good enough’ have never really sat that well with me. For the past 8 years I have travelled around the world working in my field and improving myself to become the ultimate achieving machine.
Sitting down hasn’t been my forte and most of my friends agree that I have only one speed and that speed is fast.
At a time when we are rewarded for working longer, harder and faster it is almost impossible to stop and smell the roses (let alone get a sleep-in here and there).
About a year ago I received a rude shock in relation to my fast paced lifestyle and found myself wide awake in bed with my heart racing, my shins sweating and my mind racing. Ok, I told myself, that’s just one night, you’ll get over it. Hmm not so much. Two months later and I was in a real panic. Having never really suffered much anxiety throughout the day, this was all new to me.
Why all of a sudden was my night becoming a nightmare? What was I doing differently that I had never done before? Was I sick? Was this going to last forever?
Every morning I would wake up feeling exhausted but at the same time thinking it was a new day and it wouldn’t happen tonight, surely?! At about 5pm as the sun was starting to set my new worries started to emerge, would I sleep tonight? Would I get the same panic attacks?
I let this go on for almost 6 months while I saw a doctor, downloaded every sleeping app known to mankind, stopped all social media, ate before 6pm, you name it, if it was on the internet as a way to cure insomnia, I was doing it.
Finally upon arriving back in Sydney after 5 years living in a Soho apartment in NYC, I thought all my problems would be solved, no noise, no fights outside your bedroom window, no hissing steam heater pipes, no loud air-conditioning units, no loud neighbours upstairs, unfortunately again I was wrong, the problem still remained.
Meditate, meditate, meditate. How many times I heard people say ‘have you tried meditation?’ Well yeah, I mean I can try it but sitting for 20 minutes in the morning and night, who’s got time for that? I certainly had heard about the benefits of meditation but I definitely didn’t have the time to commit 4% of my day to it….wait 4%, is that it??
Ok so it got me thinking, I can spare 4% of my day and hell if it works then I’ll be cheering. So I embarked on a Mindfulness 8 week program online. I religiously did my daily guided mediations and I could slowly feel some of my night problems start to fade away. I also noticed that I had more energy and even though the sleep issue wasn’t completely gone, it was definitely a lot better.
After 8 weeks I stopped needing the guided mediations and was doing around 10-20 minutes a day every morning. I was only getting sleep anxiety once a week rather than every other night but I could feel something else happening. I was becoming aware of myself more than ever before. I felt like I could feel when I was becoming tense or anxious and what were some of the trigger points. It felt like I was in control and I’m not just talking mind over matter but a sense of calm over how I was feeling.
After 6 months of this sort of meditating I felt like I wanted more out of my meditation and I was meeting more and more people though Bodypass that meditated every day and felt like it had changed their life.
Carla had already been meditating for a couple of years and was a real guiding light for me wanting to further my practice, so she put me in touch with Jacqui Lewis at The Broad Place who runs her Vedic Meditation Course.
It has changed my life and as much as that might sound corny, it’s true. Every day I get up 20 minutes before I need, grab a drink, go to the bathroom and then sit and meditate with my mantra. Some mornings are busy and I often finish the mediation having planned my whole day, guessed what emails were awaiting me, decided on an outfit and planned my breakfast and other days it’s complete nirvana. It doesn’t matter however as the true benefits become visible throughout the day.
By just allowing myself time in the morning and again around 3pm each day I can see that every day I am much calmer, clearer and my night anxiety and sleep problems have completely gone. I can tell when I am pushing myself too hard and although I don’t always listen to myself, just knowing means I have more control in this crazy world.
It is not always easy to fit in the mediations each day, especially the afternoon one, but here are some top tips from the Bodypass gals. Meditate in the car if on the road, pick an empty conference room at your work, head to the local park, do it on the plane. It is 20 minutes and the boost it will give you after will have you wondering why you haven’t done this your whole life.
I hate to give it away but my edge? Meditation
Bodypass is a fitness membership that gives you access to unlimited classes per month, from the best boutique studios and outdoor activities across Sydney.
For $99 a month you can attend unlimited classes at any of our partnering studios and visit the same studio up to 3 times per monthly cycle.