We know that meditation and mindfulness are transformative practices, but for many of us the idea of sitting in stillness can feel frustrating, overwhelming or difficult.
Cue the Midweek Mindful Challenge with yin yoga + meditation teacher Sarah Leigh. A 5 day series to help you fit bitesize mindful sessions into your daily routine.
Sarah’s sessions are designed to slot into busy lives, and aim to inspire a positive, healthy mindset.
We spoke to Sarah ahead of the series to find out a little more about the benefits of meditation.
Why is meditation so powerful?
No matter how busy life gets, I believe we can all spare 10 minutes. That 10 minutes might just turn out to be the reason that your day unfolds for the better. Think about a time when you woke up in a bad mood, and ask yourself whether anything had ACTUALLY happened. You can decide how you feel about a situation, so why not take 10 minutes today to decide to feel good?
What advice would you offer to beginners?
Try it. Meditation doesn’t have to be about finding the perfect setting and sitting in silence to completely clear your head. That idea simply isn’t realistic for so many of us. But taking 10 minutes to sit in stillness, take a few deep and purposeful breaths and notice what’s going on in your mind can help to organise and understand your thoughts, then respond to them from a place of calm, no matter who or where you are.
I find guided audios easier than self-guided meditation because there’s usually an idea or theme to think about. Release any expectation, put your headphones in and give it a go – you really have nothing to loose.
What can we expect from the series?
Every session will be short, accessible and designed to slot into everyday life. No previous experience or fancy equipment is required, and pyjamas are always welcome.
What transformations or benefits have you seen since starting your own practice?
Like so many, I was initially drawn to the physical side of yoga, and over time I’ve realised the impact that it can have on the mind as well as the body. I didn’t try YIN for years because I chose classes that felt like a ‘workout’, and I initially gave it a go as a way of enhancing my physical performance in more high impact styles of exercise.
BUT over time, slowing down physically has had huge benefits on my body and helped to calm my busy mind. Gradually, I began to sleep better, concentrate better, become more present in my social interactions and feel more open-minded. I believe we all have this within us, it’s just about practice, and that’s what I hope to share.