by Davina Turnbull, 200 hour Bali yoga teacher training graduate
With a law career which regularly demands working over 50 hours a week, I have often struggled to see how I can incorporate a form of meditation into my day-to-day life. Sitting with my eyes closed in my bijou flat in Hong Kong has never really appealed to me. If my alarm goes off at 6:30am, I'd much rather go on a sweaty run outside or take a hot yoga or vinyasa flow session, to feel like I've actually "achieved" something from my early morning wake up.
However, what I've slowly come to realize is that while my body may be getting trained, I need to start nourishing my mind in a much more conscious way, in order to be truly kind to my body as a whole. As a wise yogi (my teacher Everett Newell) once said, what I may want in my life may not be what I need.
The grey matter at the frontal cortex of our brain (the region which helps with memory, learning and emotional regulation) actually shrinks as we get older. Stress therefore affects us more and stressful situations can actually make us respond with irrational fear. Having been dealt a difficult hand over the last few years, I can say with certainty that this is true. The mind can be a scary place to be lost.
Learning more about the practice of meditation during my yoga teacher training has been invaluable. The ability to focus my concentration for an unbroken period of time so that I become absorbed in my own consciousness has taken me on an amazing inward journey. This has excited and energized me, left me tingling with heat and energy, and at times utterly intoxicated.
But can I really meditate alone, and will I really be able to incorporate the practice into my busy working week? Quite simply, yes, because now I truly want to. If I'm going to get up at 6:30am to exercise, then I just need to make sure that around 20 minutes is dedicated to some mindful meditation. My yoga teacher training has equipped me with some useful techniques so I now know how to meditate on my own. All previous fear or caution has been dispelled. I just need to focus my mind and put my learnings into practice.
Point your mind to the possibilities, not to the obstacles ahead of you. Connect with your consciousness and anything is possible.