The Importance of Meditation

Simi - NYC, New York
Entered on September 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the importance of meditation.

I am a person who gets stressed out and overwhelmed very easily. In the past I have spoken to many people who have tried to give me different strategies to reduce this feeling of anxiety, but they ended up becoming tedious, boring, and I can’t help but feel like they were a waste of my time.

Meditation has made me realize the importance of standing back, taking a few minutes to myself, and trying to dump everything out of my mind when I start to feel overwhelmed. I am a design student and I when I am stressed out I tend to make more errors in my work- especially while working under a deadline. Last semester, I was very overwhelmed and in cutting the final version of a project I put together that was due the next morning I sliced my finger with the x-acto knife. I was so out of it that I didn’t notice anything until my friend walked by and told me that I was bleeding on my project. Looking back on this experience I bet that if I would have just taken a few minutes out of my schedule to meditate and de-stress, my project would have turned out better and hopefully I wouldn’t have had a battle wound on my finger to prove it.

Yet it all fell into place when I had my first yoga class. The type of yoga we practiced is called Iyengar yoga. Iyengar yoga focuses on breathing and the structural alignment of the human body’s posture. The class was full of weird stretches that I had never done before and we were required to bend our bodies in ways that I never before thought were possible yet I was willing to try anything to help me decrease my stress level. Finally, at the end of the class, we were told to get into a relaxation position, lying completely flat on our backs. We put a beaded sack on top of our eyes that was infused with a lavender scent and were told to visualize ourselves on a beach. My immediate jaded reaction to this was that I probably looked like a fool and that this was stupid. Yet as my faithful yoga teacher continued describing the beach we were on and what the sun felt like, and the noises of the waves near our feet, I began to drift away from the classroom I was in. Her voice gradually faded out. My mind emptied out completely. I don’t know the exact amount of time my teacher let the class go on like this for, but when we she said to come back into a sitting position and class was over, I felt different. It wasn’t a feeling of anxiety or stress, and the closest thing I could relate it to at the time was a sensation of drowsiness. But I knew I wasn’t tired. I alive, and could feel every bone in my body walking home. This was calm and true, and me truly at peace.

I would recommend meditation to anyone who has trouble focusing or gets overwhelmed quickly. It doesn’t necessarily require imagining yourself on a beach or another tropical setting, but just somewhere that you feel comfortable going to- a sort of sacred space that only you are allowed in.