How Meditation and Yoga Helped Me

For around 2 years, I have meditated every morning and I tried to practice yoga at least once a week. I’ve also taken part in some retreats as well where yoga was included. When it comes to these practices, I first see them as spiritual practices. It’s assumed that most people who do yoga, do it to stay fit and maintain their physique, however it is important to know that yoga is, first and foremost, a spiritual practice.

 

Since I was fifteen, I really wanted to take yoga classes. I had my first yoga class in high school and I was a tad disappointed because we didn’t do any sun salutations or asanas.  Many years later, I took another yoga class and REALLY didn’t enjoy it at all. It was hot, crowded and I felt nauseous when I left the room. Back then, I thought, yoga is definitely not for me and I couldn’t have disagreed more with the teacher who asked us during one particular pose whether we felt fantastic. I did NOT feel fantastic. I was in a world of pain and just couldn’t understand her enthusiasm.

 

When I look back now, I have to smile because I love yoga and I could do it every morning. As a huge over-thinker and worrier, yoga helps me to stay in the present and just focus on my breath. It’s important that whenever I get too stressed and my mind goes into overdrive, I have to take a break. Even if that just means, stopping what I’m doing and try to control my breathing. The great thing about meditation is that you can literally do it anywhere. You don’t need a meditation cushion to do it, just a quiet place without too much distraction. I used to meditate a lot in the forest during my Erasmus exchange in Vienna and it really helped me to unwind.

 

Nowadays, I prefer to meditate in my room.

 

There was even a time where I would wake up every day at 4:30 am to meditate for twenty minutes. I would then spend the rest of the morning writing in my journal, stretching myself on a mat and, reading passages from a self-help book every morning.  I often found it difficult to stay awake, but I must confess that I was the happiest I had ever been in this period. I enjoyed my routine of waking up early in the morning and practicing some self-care and spirituality before going to university at nine o’clock. After I would take time to journal, read my favourite book, do some oracle or tarot readings and then listen to some music before having a shower.

 

Though that was late last year, and I learned that I’m the happiest in the morning which was quite interesting because I always thought that I’m more of a night owl. I realized that I would try to subdue my depressive feelings at night with a lot of music while not really dealing with my problems and issues.

 

As it’s March now and we’re entering Spring, it’s amazing to see how much I evolved as a person from who I was when I started university up to now. Like most of us, I still cry when I’m stressed out and I have my fears, but now I feel I have become a more optimistic person now. I know exactly what makes me happy and more than okay to admit to myself and others when I’m feeling low.