If you’re into yoga as movement, then meditation is the must-do next step that will take you to the next level. Learn how our lovely Lucy McCarthy discovered Vipassana and conquered the busy world inside her head!
My meditation journey began about 10 years ago when I first heard about Vipassana – a type of meditation based on The Buddha’s teaching.
I heard you could go and do these 10 day silent Vipassana retreats and I thought this was a hilarious idea as someone who loved to talk and couldn’t sit still. But the more I thought about it and the more it scared me, the more I thought perhaps this had something to teach me.
I decided to do it and all gung ho booked myself into a 10 day silent retreat in the mountains outside of Kathmandu in Nepal. Having had little to no previous meditation experience I look back now and wonder how I had the courage to do it. But I did and boy did I learn so much.
What I really learnt was how busy and boring my mind was! Over and over and round and round went my repetitive thoughts. I couldn’t believe I made all of my decisions from this place. But slowly and surely over the 10 days my mind started to quieten and slow down and this amazing relief washed over me.
It was just so delicious to actually feel spacious inside my head. And as the internal chatter quietened what I realised is that suddenly I was so much more present to appreciate the simple occurrences around me. Such as the beauty of the rising sun, a soft breeze on my face, the sound of the birds in the air- all things that previously I had been missing because I was so wrapped up in my thoughts.
These 10 days had a huge and profound effect on me so much so that from then onwards I have continued to meditate daily. Studying with different teachers and guides along the way.
What I love is that you don’t need to sit and meditate for hours, committing to merely 10-20 minutes of quiet sitting everyday has the most incredible effects on our happiness, nervous system and overall well being.
Especially when most people’s schedule and diaries are so hectic and busy, taking the time to meditate at the beginning of the day can help start the day with a feeling of expansiveness that sets the president of how you will meet the rest of the day.
Remember that you won’t sit and have no thoughts, of course there will be thoughts, that is the nature of the mind. Our challenge is to stay present in full awareness of the rising and falling thoughts without clinging to or rejecting any of it. In this simple, practical way we start to develop the art of acceptance which allows us to embrace all aspects of our lives, the good, the challenging and everything in between. And with acceptance comes a sweeter and more easeful flow of life. Try it, you might just like it!!
>>Try a Meditation Practice with Lucy McCarthy>>
This post was written by Lucy McCarthy (Bruegger), a MFML instructor whose Yoga journey began many years ago on a rooftop in India, and she has never looked back. After studying in India, Lucy trained with Max Strom in America, whom she now assists on his international workshops in London. She teaches Vinyasa flow yoga with significant emphasis on the breath and its healing qualities as well as restorative, pregnancy and hot yoga classes. Find Lucy on Facebook.