Guys, I’m stressed. Like pretty much every millennial in New York City (in the world?) I feel constant pressure to have the perfect career, love life, and Instagram. I tried meditation to take a moment for myself. Here’s what happened.
Let me start by saying I don’t like yoga because it never calms my mind. The laid-back atmosphere and calming teacher usually makes me think about my to-do list instead of my form. I prefer cycling classes like SoulCycle or Flywheel, where it’s dark, the music is so loud you almost need headphones, and the teacher is borderline screaming at you (in a good way!). But like everyone, I feel like I’m being pulled in so many directions — and need to devote time to my job, my husband, my dog, my family, not to mention my “persona” on Instagram and Facebook. It’s kind of exhausting. I’m an only child so I’ll admit I have been selfish in the past, but it’s been a while since I’ve really focused on me.
I’ve tried the meditation app Headspace, and I liked it! A couple times it even put me to sleep, which is good in a way, but probably defeated the purpose of learning how to breathe and relax. I want to really commit to meditating, so I went to a guided session at an Athleta store in NYC hosted by Unplug founder and CEO Suze Yalof Schwartz. She said that if you can breathe, you can meditate. She says you only need 16 SECONDS to meditate.
Here’s what you do: breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, and then just be for four seconds. Do this every time you walk through a door in your daily life. Before you know it, you’ve racked up 15 minutes of meditating and deep breathing. Of course, it’s natural to have thoughts or have your mind wander during longer sessions — it happened to almost everyone in the class. But training your braid to return to that calm state of mind, or your breath, has actually been proven to strengthen your brain function.
Suze says that morning meditation is great, because you can just get it out of the way. Plus, it really gives your day a positive start. Instead of hitting the snooze button, sit up in bed, and start to connect with your breath. It’s that easy. And practice makes perfect. If you want to try, from Wednesday August 9th, to Sunday August 13th, over 100 Athleta stores are giving you “Permission to Pause” with guided meditation sessions. Find a store near you on their website or download the Unplug app!
HollywoodLifers, are you trying to learn how to meditate?