1. “I can’t or don’t know how to meditate.”
Meditation is the birthright of every human being and can be practiced at anytime, anywhere on the planet. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. While it’s true that there are highly developed systems of meditation, such as Vedic, Vipassana, and Transcendental Meditation (TM), as well as countless methods of guided meditation, you can benefit by simply closing your eyes and observing your breath. It’s that simple. In the same way you don’t have to be a trained dancer to rock out to your favorite tunes, you don’t have to follow any particular school of thought to calm your mind through meditation. Just close your eyes and breathe. Count your breaths, if you like. And if you are someone who likes a little more structure, there are dozens of smartphone apps available to guide you. You can even learn a chakra meditation from a children’s cartoon.
2. “Meditation doesn’t really make any difference.”
The benefits of meditation, supported by mountains of scientific research, include improved mindfulness, lower stress, better sleep, and increased focus, willpower, and self control, increased productivity, lower blood pressure, improved heart function, increased physical energy, and an overall greater sense of well-being. There is seemingly no aspect of our lives that is not improved through a meditation practice, even if it’s only a few minutes per day. While the science is there to supply empirical evidence, don’t take anyone’s word for it. Try it for 21 days — even for just a few minutes a day — and experience for yourself the power of meditation. There’s a reason it’s practiced by some of the world’s greatest athletes!
3. “I don’t have enough time.”
With so many demands on our time, it can seem like there’s not a single to spare to, y’know, BREATHE! Studies of meditators, however, show that meditation can actually improve our effectiveness and productivity. What’s more, you don’t have to meditate for an hour or even 20 minutes at a time. You can receive the benefits discussed here by meditating for just five to ten minutes per day. With your increased vitality, focus, and willpower, you can accomplish even more, while enjoying a greater sense of wholeness, ease, and happiness. From this perspective, you are not spending time meditating, you are actually robbing yourself of time by not meditating.
Maybe the only opportunity you have to sit still and be with your “breathe” is at the beginning or end of an Elevate class. If so, take full advantage of these moments. People who begin meditating casually may find that they are drawn into the practice in a way that inspires them to find out what else it can offer. Whatever your path, there seems to be no downside at all to bringing mindfulness and balance to your breath and your life.