I used to be great at setting aside a portion of each day to breathe, do yoga or meditate. Then business life with 2 kids snuck up on me and my meditation routine has not been regular. I’ve been more stressed and more anxious lately, so I’ve decided it’s time to get back into my meditation routine. The problem is, once you’ve been out of the routine for a while, it’s hard to relax enough to even begin to meditate! Here are some of the ways that I help my body and my brain relax enough to have a successful breathing, yoga or meditation session.
- Scent- Obviously, I love essential oils. Having access to so many oils and blends has made me realize how dramatic of an effect they can have on the body when I’m trying to shut off my brain. Both personally and in the yoga classes I teach, I’ve noticed that when oils are diffusing or sprayed in the room, it’s much easier to stop the to-do list’s that runs wild in your head when you’re trying to decompress. Some people find that uplifting scents like peppermint or lemongrass help them relax. I prefer grounding oils like ho wood, cedar wood, patchouli and sandalwood. We make an awesome unwind blend and a beautiful grounding spray that I really like to use before, during and after meditation.
- Teas & Tinctures- Sometimes, if my week has been quite hectic or my hormones are raging, scent isn’t quite enough to get me in the right zone for meditation. This is where my tinctures and teas come in. Many herbs have been used for centuries to help with feelings of anxiousness. My favorites are lemon balm tea, passionfruit tincture and kava kava drinks. Since some of these are considered to be neuro tonics, you should always consult with a health practitioner if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, are on any medications or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Usually when I drink a cup of lemon balm tea, it has such a profound effect that I’m very lazy for the next few hours. These teas and tinctures are generally recommended for people prior to sleep, so if you are going to use them to help with meditation, it’s wise to schedule an evening mediation prior to bed.
- Tactile Compression- You know how sometimes you’re so stressed you just want to shake, kick, punch or dance it off? Well, that’s me a lot of the time. Some energy workers have said to me that it’s stale energy stuck on me, which is why shaking and dancing feels like it helps. I’ve found before meditation a quick lymphatic massage or a squeeze to each of my limbs, hands, feet and torso works amazing. The tactile experience of touching your body and really feeling it helps to get out of your head and into your senses. In ayruveda, body oiling is considered to be a daily practice that everyone should do. This is basically a lymphatic massage with a ton of oil. I have found anytime I do this before meditation, I can fall into my meditation much more easily and I feel more recharged afterwards. I like to use our body oil and our baby oil for this although our rise up is an awesome choice too. Because we’ve blended amazing oils with essential oils, it’s like a 2-in-1 for relaxation, blending the tactile experiences with scent.
Meditation seems like it should be super simple but it’s really not that easy. There are a ton of meditation techniques you can use including using a mantra, visualization or breath work. If you are an experienced meditator and find you can fall into your mediations easily, the above suggestions may help to deepen your practice. If you are new to mediation, I would suggest to start by giving yourself a body massage with a scented body oil or butter. After you’re all oiled up, sit or lay down and take 10 deep breaths with your eyes closed. That’s it, no more unless you feel like it. That’s a great place to start and build your meditation practice. If you are in the Edmonton area, lifestyle meditation is an excellent meditation studio that can also give you a hand in a new meditation practice or enhance an existing meditation practice.