So you sit down to meditate because you want to relax, and instead of getting all loosy-goosey, you feel even more tense. All of those pockets of tension you were creating and ignoring throughout your busy day start to come alive, and you realize your neck aches, and you can’t sit still, and that woman’s voice on the guided meditation you’re listening to is really getting on your nerves. All you want to do is run screaming from your meditation.
But wait. There are some things we can understand and do to help us through this common phenomenon.
Please know that this happens sometimes! And it doesn’t mean you are necessarily doing things wrong. If you’ve been busy ignoring yourself all day long, when you suddenly turn the spotlight of your awareness toward yourself, which is one of the ways we can understand the practice of mindfulness, the body can start to come alive. It’s not that the meditation is making you anxious and fidgety, it’s that you are now becoming aware of all these feelings that are already present in the body, perhaps for the first time all day.
Remember that the practice isn’t about trying to make these sensations go away, but about becoming present for them. Is it possible to feel tense, anxious, fidgety in the body and still practice cultivating a peaceful mind? Is it possible to even relax into these feelings? This is the exploration of our mindfulness practice.
YOU CAN MOVE WHILE YOU MEDITATE. Most people think they have to be still like statue to meditate, and then their practice becomes like a torturous game of not scratching that itchy nose until the bells ring. SCRATCH YOUR NOSE. Stretch your neck, heck, roll your shoulders even when you practice. Just seeing if you can scratch and stretch and roll mindfully, with awareness.
You don’t need to knock out a 20-30 minute sit every time you meditate. We never want our meditations to turn into torture…otherwise you won’t stay with your practice. So on some days, is it wise for you to do a 10 minute meditation rather than your usual 20? There are times when the level of tension and/or discomfort in the body are simply outside of our field of practice…so it can be skillful to recognize these times and let yourself off the hook.
Check out today’ video for some added hints.
Hope so much there’s something of benefit for you here.