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One Year In Meditation

Updated: May 9

Meditation altar

I have been meditating every day for one year this month (I did miss a few days here and there, but very few). I started meditating, as in sitting down and observing my thought patterns, back in 2008 when I was living in NYC. The yoga school where I took my very first yoga training is also an ashram, which means they offer – I assumed they still do – sessions of meditation open to the public every day. During my time in NY, I would attend those sessions whenever possible. Each meditation would last 30 mins and would always start with some pranayama followed by 20-25mins of silent meditation.

As much as I enjoyed it and could see how helpful it was, I was not strict in my practice of meditation; I would go weeks on end regularly meditating and then stop for weeks on end. I didn't stop because I was bored with it or was too busy, it just happened; I let myself go with whichever flow I was in. Sometimes it was daily meditation, and sometimes it wasn't. I would also like to add that I find swimming as well as reading or being creative or practising yoga (obviously) to be super meditative so, even if I wasn't practising seated meditation, I was still engaging in activities which gave me similar results.

I'm not sure what changed for me last January, but I know I could not imagine starting my day without breathing practices and meditation now. I think what shifted is that I needed perspective from what was happening in my life at the time and, rather than stepping back, I stepped into myself. At first, I would sit in silence for whatever period of time, sometimes 10 mins, sometimes 40. I didn't time it to begin with. Then my practice evolved gradually and continues to. Last June I started to add pranayama before my meditation, and a month after that I began to focus my meditation on the chakras. Now my morning routine is 30 mins of breathing and 30 mins of meditation (each day focusing on a specific chakra while using various meditation techniques) and, as of 3 weeks ago, I have gone back to timing it so that I sit for 30 mins.

This routine may change again as I discover more about myself, but I love that this process happened organically for me and that it is now so consistent. The one hour I spent with myself every morning is magical. It's not always peaceful, and it's OK. I have moments of being overwhelmed and agitated, other times I am overwhelmed by a deep sense of inner peace and the sensation of being infinite, not bound by my physical body. Neither of those mental states last, but I find myself to be calmer and more content with the ups and down of who I am outside those 60 mins, so I guess that's something.

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