Meditation: Using the Mind to Heal and Find Peace

Meditation. Meditation? Yes, meditation.

I was a non-believer until I was laying on the couch last week after my lumbar puncture and in massive pain. My youngest human kid, 6, laid down next to me. Silently, she placed her hand on my head and said, “breathe with me mommy. Five breaths. Deep breath.” She and I inhaled and exhaled slowly. “One…” she said very slowly. After we we done, I felt relaxed and the pain was bearable. Okay, there’s something to this.

I’m the investigative type so I take to researching meditation, and during my research I remembered that a friend of mine told me to watch a documentary on Netflix called “Heal.” Click here to watch the trailer. There’s science to back up why breathing helped my pain. There are so many ways to meditate: mantras, focusing on your breathing, listening to music, but I decided on yoga.

Before when I did yoga, I thought of it as “stretching” after my runs and “setting intentions” was just silly. That breathing break with my youngest child changed my mind.

When my back was not too sore I tried my first real practice, and of course I researched how to do it. I learned that you don’t have to master any pose to be a master of yoga. I also learned that setting an intension at the beginning of your practice helps you focus and quiets your thoughts. That’s what being in the present mind means. You should focus on poses that you love and enjoy. I have a favorite bunch of poses. Here’s my order, for each side:

  1. Triangle pose
  2. Pyramid pose with hanging or folded arms
  3. Standing soleus stretch
  4. Runners lunge with twist to opposite side
  5. Runners lunge with twist to same side
  6. Wide side lunge
  7. Wide leg forward bend
  8. Turn to opposite side
  9. Low lunge
  10. Downward facing dog
  11. Downward facing dog with leg raised
  12. Side plank
  13. Downward facing dog with leg raised
  14. Pigeon pose
  15. Head to knee forward bend
  16. Cobblers pose

After that, I practice the chaturanga 15 times.

It’s going well, I think. I still have migraines that last hours and days, but at least with the yoga and breathing, I can control the anxiety that usually comes with these attacks.

During an attack, I breathe while in child’s pose. It’s supposed to help but sometimes I can’t do it because putting my head down on the mat sometimes makes it worse. That’s when corpse pose is best. Hopefully I’ll sleep the pain off.

Along with yoga, I downloaded the “Calm” app which has a neat nature sounds feature which can play off my phone anytime. It’s the best sleeping device. The sounds are real and if I close my eyes and focus, it truly feels like I’m outside sleeping in my tent. Peaceful.

So that’s what I’m doing to help me heal. Hopefully I can keep it up. Do you meditate? How? How often? Do you have any suggestions for me? Hoping for better days. Namaste. God, I hope I used “namaste” correctly.

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