meditation kick off call
[00:00:00] , if you've ever thought that you couldn't meditate because your mind is just too busy or you can never sit still long enough to meditate or you suffer from Netflix syndrome, where when you try to meditate, you end up scrolling and looking for a guided meditation to do, and then you end up using up the whole time that you would've meditated.
[00:00:20] or if you're just not sure how to meditate or maybe you have a meditation practice and you've experienced some of the common pitfalls that keep you from being consistent with that practice, I'd encourage you to listen to this. Short little episode that I'm actually repurposing as the, it was the welcome call for our Mercury Retrograde meditation challenge.
[00:00:41] So we were gonna meditate for the whole 21 days of Mercury retrograde. And it's not gonna be super astrology ish in there if you're not into that, because I am gonna be sharing this on the My Science of Light podcast as well. And I know several of you like the science side. Explaining the science of spirituality, and that's what this is for.
[00:00:59] But also I just use it as a marker like Mercury retrograde is just a little reminder. Let's use the time to clear some distractions by reinvigorating our meditation practice. So not required to be into astrology to join if you want to. Um, Have support and accountability and community to help you think through some of these pitfalls that you may be experiencing in your life as they come up.
[00:01:24] Uh, please join us. It starts today, December 29th, but you can sign up literally anytime during the challenge. You will be able. To sign up. So even if you watch this later and wanna sign up, join anytime. I will encourage that. I would love to see you there. And also, I hope you get value out of this episode.
[00:01:42] Um, I'll teach you a common technique, an easy technique that you can do without having to need anything to meditate so that you can steer clear of some of these common pitfalls that I hear from people all the time. So, and then if you'd like to join the challenge, go to yogi scopes.com/.
[00:01:59] I guess I should also mention that it is free, so please join us.
[00:02:02] We'd love to see you in there. There's already a wonderful, supportive community joining us, so I'd love to see you in there.
[00:02:08] So welcome to our Mercury Retrograde Meditation Challenge. So the idea of this challenge is that you're gonna meditate every day, or if not every day, whatever, whatever amount feels. Supportive in your life. If you're like, I know there's no way I'm gonna meditate on these certain days a week, then, then don't set yourself up for failure by like expecting yourself to do something that you know doesn't feel realistic.
[00:02:37] But with that in mind, also, it's like gonna be a good idea to try to do it as often as possible because ev a daily habit is, , it's like easier to stick to. But I also don't want anybody to get caught up in like a shame trigger. If you miss a day, like don't worry about it, just the less you shame yourself about it, though quicker you're gonna be able to get back to it.
[00:03:01] So I wanted to cover a couple misconceptions about meditation. Things that I hear people say a lot, like things that students say to me. Um, and so we'll go over sort. myth, in fact about meditation and then some pitfalls to watch out for that might keep you from staying on track with the meditation challenge.
[00:03:20] And then a basic technique, which I will upload just a recording of later, so it'll be a separate recording so that you can,
[00:03:27] just come back to it whenever. So the first pitfall I that people say to me, or misconception that people say to me all the time is, My mind is too busy to meditate or I just can't sit still.
[00:03:39] So meditation is not for me, which I suspect, like if y'all are here, maybe you have some inkling that you want meditation to be for you. But I hear this, people say this all the time, they're like, I just can't meditate because my mind is too busy. And my answer to that is like, well, that's like saying you're too dirty to take a bath.
[00:03:57] You know what I mean? Because, so meditation is not about. Clearing the mind. I think that's where a lot of us get kind of caught up cuz we're like, I just can't clear my mind. Like that's just not gonna happen. And it's not about clearing your mind. Your brain is gonna think until you die. Your brain even thinks while you sleep.
[00:04:14] Like that's what your brain does, you think. And so in a yoga sense that's described as awareness, like chit awareness. You always have awareness like it's always going on. And meditation is just about directing that awareness instead of letting. Everything. Direct your awareness for you, right? So it's not about clearing your mind, as in there's nothing going on in there.
[00:04:37] Because if you have that expectation, then it's gonna feel like you can't meditate. And so we'll talk about how to direct your awareness in a second. That's kind of the basic technique I have to share. Um, and then, so another common misconception is that meditation is the same thing as breath control.
[00:04:56] The technique I'm gonna share is basically like you're gonna pick an a, an anchor for your awareness. And oftentimes people pick their breath, and what that means is you're just gonna pay attention to your breath ra. So trying to control your breath or like breathe for a certain count or something is something different.
[00:05:16] It's also useful in yoga, it's called pranayama breath control. Um, and that's a useful technique, but meditation is more about. Sitting with your awareness rather than trying to do something specific. Like, I'm gonna inhale for the count of three and exhale for the count of four. Like that would be pranayama, which is also useful, but that's not quite meditation.
[00:05:41] Um, and then so third, or I guess fourth misconception is that meditation is something you do. So that kind of falls in with. The, that you need to be doing something like controlling your breath or whatever during meditation. Meditation is more like a state of being that you have to create the conditions for, and you create the conditions for it by sitting, by sitting still.
[00:06:08] And, um, you can also lay down because I recognize that some, for some folks, it is distracting to sit still because your back starts hurting after a while or whatever. So I'm gonna always encourage you to choose a position. Um, if that's laying down in bed or on the floor or in a really comfy chair, I want you to choose a position where your body is not gonna be a distraction.
[00:06:30] And so I guess the ultimate goal is, you know, from a yoga philosophy standpoint, you're gonna do enough yoga to where you can sit still upright because that is good for your body mechanics and spine to be able to do that. But if you're at a place where your. When you do that, or your leg falls asleep or whatever, then choose something else.
[00:06:49] Because the idea is we don't want our body to be a distraction. And if it is, that's defeating the purpose. So don't get caught up in like, I have to sit in this perfect posture with my little moodra, you know, like the Instagram thing. Like, don't worry about it. Choose something that's gonna allow your body to not be a distraction from sorting out your awareness.
[00:07:11] Um, and. . Those are the misconceptions. And then the pitfalls that I see people get getting caught up in a lot is kind of, kind of goes along with that like sitting thing. Like, I can't sit still, so then don't, so do something else, right? Like you can even do a walking meditation. We can talk more about that.
[00:07:30] Um, or sometimes people approach their yoga. Awesome. Other postural practice as a moving meditation, that's also fine. Um, but. . Some pitfalls will be like if you think you don't have long enough, so you just don't sit at all. Um, I'm gonna encourage a lot of you to start with even like two minutes, set a timer on your phone.
[00:07:50] You can use the app insight timer. That's the one I really like. Or you can just use your phones like built in, I don't know, your oven timer, like whatever we have timers around. Use something to time yourself and just be with your awareness until that timer goes off for whatever, like length of. That's where the insights are gonna come.
[00:08:09] So that's kinda what I was saying before with like, meditation's not something you do. It's not like I'm gonna sit perfectly still and control my breath. And this is meditation. Those are like sort of different. Meditation is like a state you get in when you've sorted through the just regular content in your brain and you'll get faster and faster at sorting through that the more you do it.
[00:08:32] Um, so it takes. . And then another pitfall. I do this all the time. If I try to go for a guided meditation, I get like that Netflix syndrome where, okay, so like my husband is really good at picking something to watch on Netflix. Like he'll just pick something and it'll be like a good movie and we'll watch it and he can pick it in like two seconds.
[00:08:51] But if it's up to me to pick it, and I do the same thing with guided meditations, I'm just gonna spend the whole time, I would have meditated or watched tv. Looking for something to meditate to or watch, and so don't do that. I would encourage you. So guided meditations are cool, but my part of a large, part of my point for this challenge is to teach you how to meditate so that you don't need me.
[00:09:16] That's why I'm not gonna go live with meditations every day because I don't want you to need me because if, if I do that, then after the challenge is over, what are you gonna. , you know, keep going back to those same meditations maybe, but then you'll get bored of 'em. So what I wanna teach you is the techniques so that you can just sit like just you and your brain and body, and you can do it anywhere without needing your phone or your cushion or like whatever.
[00:09:41] Like those things are helpful, but I want. To teach how to do it so that you can do it despite all this stuff that goes on in life. Like if you're traveling and you don't have your little beautiful space at home or whatever is going on in your life, you can still have this practice and these skills to come back to.
[00:09:58] That's like my goal for this challenge. Um, and so that leads us into the basic technique that I do want to encourage the basic technique, and this is, this is behind a lot of guided meditations. So the basic technique is to. still your body. Notice your breath and then choose an anchor for your awareness because like I mentioned earlier, your brain is gonna think until you die.
[00:10:23] Like your brain does not stop thinking. So you have to choose something to come back to so that when you notice your mind is like off to the grocery store or like down the to-do list or finishing up an argument. This hypothetical, like when you notice your brain is doing those things, you can. now's not the time and you have something to come back to and most often that is the breath.
[00:10:46] Most often that's breath awareness or some kind of affirmation. And so that's what I wanna make the distinction again, that it's like not breath control. Like you're not trying to force your breath to be longer or different than it is. There's actually a lot of good information found in just being aware of how your breath naturally is.
[00:11:04] And then maybe also noticing. Let's say you go down that hypothetical argument, you think of something and you're like, oh, this would've been the perfect thing to say. And that makes your heart start racing. And you can notice the imprint of your, like where your brain goes on your physiology there, there's like power in that.
[00:11:21] And that's like where a lot of the good insights from meditation will come is just coming back to your awareness of your breath. So I wanted to make that distinction that it's not controlling your. , it's just noticing your breath and letting it be like it is. Don't, you don't have to force your body to move with your breath if it's not like that kind of thing.
[00:11:38] So the breath is the most common anchor for awareness. And so we want to choose an anchor for awareness so that when, not if, but when your brain goes somewhere else, you have something to come back to. And the more you do it, the more skilled you will become at not chasing those thoughts at letting them go, which is really healthy practice.
[00:12:01] so we don't get stuck in ruminating or overthinking or whatever. Um, and so the breath is the most common anchor for awareness. Another common one is body awareness. So that's kind of the idea behind yoga nidra is just doing like guided body scan. Um, but you can do that on your own too. Like you can just think about different place, excuse me, different places in your body and perhaps even like try to relax them.
[00:12:26] And notice how, not if, but when your mind wanders if certain places in U tents or a sensation comes there, there's a lot of power in that awareness. And that's where the insight comes from, is to notice the link between mind and body. And so that's what I was kind of getting at earlier too, that it's not something you do meditation, it's something that happens to you when you create this space for it.
[00:12:49] So you will have all these insights. And you'll experience, you know, all these well-documented benefits of meditation, um, when you practice it on a regular basis. So what I'll encourage first is to choose an anchor like your breath. Often people will count their breath, and so instead of like, like I was saying earlier, like, I'm gonna exhale for four counts in inhale for three counts.
[00:13:12] What I mean is just like, inhale one, exhale one. That's one breath. Inhale, two. , exhale two. That's two breaths. And this is, this is my favorite most basic meditation technique. And you try to count to 10 and every time you think about something else, you start over at one. And you can just do that forever.
[00:13:34] And you may never make it to 10. I don't know. I think I've made it to like eight or nine before . So, and you can do that for however long until your timer goes off. Like if I'm being real with myself, I've made it to 10, but I was. My awareness was like somewhere else, really and truly, and I was just counting it.
[00:13:51] You know how we can do that with the background of our awareness anyway. So you're gonna choose an anchor, you're gonna set a timer, get comfortable, set a timer, choose an anchor for your awareness, and keep coming back to it until your timer goes off. And that's the basic technique that I'd like you to follow so that you don't get stuck in that Netflix syndrome of.
[00:14:15] Scrolling to find the perfect guided meditation. I did that yesterday. I was looking for a yoga Nira and I spent like 10 minutes and I was like, shit. Um, so yeah, so welcome. That's, that's pretty much it. The stuff I wanted to say for the meditation challenge. Those are the, the misconceptions and common pitfalls that I most often see from.
[00:14:39] students, things that students say to me. Um, and then that's the basic technique that I see. Like, I mean, that's what I build guided meditations around when I lead them. Like on the moon day practices, when I lead a guided. meditation. It's based on like, we do the yoga practice to get comfortable in your body and then you sit and then you notice your breath.
[00:14:59] And then either we continue on with a breath awareness or maybe we add on a visualization. And that's fine to do. And I'm not gonna say like, sometimes you just wanna do a guided meditation and that's fine, do it. Um, but otherwise just follow that basic technique. Just have so. For your brain to come back to, whether that's body awareness, breath awareness, or a visualization.
[00:15:21] You can do a visualization on your own. You can visualize a chakra or you can do like the golden light. There's so many, and I will be putting some resources and I will be putting some guided meditations up on YouTube and into the, um, community platform for the meditation challenge. And I will record a basic.
[00:15:44] two minute one that you can come back to to practice this technique until you get comfortable doing it on your own. But other than that, um, good luck and lean into, this is also a, one of the main things we get from meditation is when you experience, like if you miss a day or something, notice what happened.
[00:16:04] Why did you miss that day? Right? And what can you do differently? . You know, maybe you made a choice that seemed idealistic, but it's not actually realistic for your life. And then that's good information and that's kind of the same. That's what we're doing with meditation. It's like, where does my mind go?
[00:16:22] Why and how can I practice not being hijacked by that thought? That's good information and that's what we're getting from meditating, and that's what we'll be getting from the challenge. If it's like you've experienced these pitfalls or whatever, you miss a day because life, crazy life.
[00:16:40] what can you learn from that each time? And so I think that's, I think that's about all I wanted to share today, and I will be back in a little bit with that guided meditation that you can come back to. So thanks for being here, and I hope you experience the utmost clarity and peace of mind from developing this practice or coming back to it in your life if you've already had a meditation practice.
[00:17:08] Welcome. I'm glad you're here.
[00:17:11] if you'd like to join the challenge, go to yogi scopes.com/. I guess I should also mention that it is free, so please join us.
[00:17:20] We'd love to see you in there. There's already a wonderful, supportive community joining us, so I'd love to see you in there.