Yoga has always been a challenge for me. Not so much in the physical sense, but more in the mental. Tell me to power through an hour long sweatfest of a run and I’ll jump at the chance and savor every salty minute. But tell me to sit crosslegged in a dimly lit room with quiet chanting and ask me to focus on my breath and quiet my mind? My mind races. As soon as my eyes close, I wonder if everyone else is looking at me. Is this all a joke and they’re all snickering at my sweaty workout clothes? I’m not like these women in their designer yoga apparel and 4 karat diamonds. I show up in running shorts and an old race tee that I have to keep tucking into my waistband.
15 seconds have passed. Now I’m thinking about the itch on my right middle toe. No, pinky toe. No, middle toe. Yup, definitely middle toe. Stupid toe. Who needs it anyway? And why, since I’ve generously allowed it to remain attached to my foot, does it insist on itching? Did I get a mosquito bite during a downward facing dog?
Instructor: Focus on your breath. In. Out. Direct your focus to your heart….
30 seconds. The dog! Do I need to pick up dog food on the way home? What should I have for dinner? It’s too hot to cook. Maybe The Huz can pick up something to throw on a salad. Do I want salad?
45 seconds. Ugh, I’m tired of this. I don’t want to be here. Would it be bad to get up and leave? How sad would that be? I couldn’t even lie and say I had an appointment to rush off too. I mean, who can’t handle 2 minutes of meditation?
Instructor: Now focus your breath on your third eye. Breathe into that space.
1 minute. Ooh, what if we all had three eyes? Would it look in the same direction as the other two? What would it mean to be cross eyed then? I’m a bad yogi. I should try to focus.
Instructor: If it helps, try a mantra. Inhale and say “Let.” Exhale and say “go.”
75 seconds. Let. Go. Let. Go. Let. Go. Hm, this isn’t so bad. Wait, I lost focus. Three breaths. That’s all I can muster? Focus, woman! Let. Go. Let. Go…
Instructor: Okay, now begin to deepen your breath. We’re going to end this meditation..
Wait, we’re done already? Where did the last 45 seconds go?
Instructor: …by chanting “Om” three times.
Om…igod I can’t believe I meditated for 45 seconds. Om…y darlin’ Oh my darlin’. Om….yword. I think I need to keep practicing this whole meditation thing.
Have you ever meditated? Do you use mantras to focus?