As you guys know, I’ve been going through somewhat of a self discovery stage at this point in my life. I’ve been trying new things so that I can truly figure out what I like and want out of life. I came across a workshop on Eventbrite called M3: Mind, Meditation & Movement.
The purpose of the event was to discover the power of different breathing techniques and to try guided mediation. I decided to give it a shot because I’ve been looking for ways to clear my mind of negativity so that I can focus on the positives.
Going into the workshop, I had no idea what to expect, but I was a tad bit nervous. It did however turn out to be better than I thought it would.
The instructors and volunteers were very welcoming. We got in small groups and discussed why we wanted to partake in the workshop and what we hoped to get from it. All of us pretty much had the same reasons and expectations for the workshop. We all wanted to clear our minds and we all wanted inner peace.
The instructor started by going into details about how the mind works. The mind always focuses on the negatives and it always goes back to either the past (which brings emotions) and the future (which brings anxiety and fear). She brought up a good point about how we never truly focus on the present.
What’s really interesting about the mind is that when you breathe in patterns, your state of mind changes, When you focus on your breathing, you’re in the present moment. Your mind isn’t focused on the past or the future.
I had never really focused on my breathing patterns until the workshop. Nor had I noticed that your emotional state affects your breathing. There’s truly a deep connection between the two.
We learned how to do a breathing technique called Ujjayi Pranayama (victory breath). It is a nasal only type of breathing. Yoga International describes how to perform Ujjayi Pranayama in a much better way than I can.
“To practice ujjayi breath, sit in a comfortable posture with a neutral spine. Gently constrict the aperture of the throat to create a subtle hissing sound; this action is similar to saying “aah” without vocalizing and then closing your mouth. Keep the throat constricted on both the inhalation and the exhalation and draw the breath in and out from the diaphragm, not from the chest. Make both parts of the breath equally long and smooth, and make sure there’s no pause in between.”
We practiced Ujjayi breath for about 5 minutes with our eyes closed. Once it was over, I felt more alert. My mind did wander a few times, but when it did, I would redirect it back to focus on my breathing. This breathing technique led us to meditation.
As meditation began, the instructor cut the lights down and told us to put our arms by our sides allowing our wrists to rest on our knees. She then told us to bring our index fingers and thumbs to touch one another. I remember her telling us to rest and that if any thoughts are coming in our minds, we should allow them and not ignore them.
We meditated for another 5-10 mins. I had a moment during meditation when things that I had typically pushed to the back of my mind came forward and my mind started to overthink about those situations. Meditation kinda forced me to acknowledge the things I had been trying to ignore and forget. It helped me face it head on and I felt way more at peace after.
As the 90 minute workshop came to an end, I felt as though I was leaving with exactly what I needed. My plan is to start looking into more in-depth meditating and breathing classes so that I can incorporate it into my lifestyle. Until then, I will be practicing Ujjayi breath and meditation. If you are like me and looking for more inner peace and a way to clear your mind, you should definitely give meditation a try.
-Until next time, remember to sparkle.