I was trying to get someone I once knew to practice meditation but he was not into any form of stillness and introspection. “Can I sleep instead?” he would ask. Or “I am too tired tonight to meditate.”
So, what is the difference between sleep and meditation? This:
Sleep is a physiological need; meditation is a much more basic need. However, if you are not in tune with your body, you will not recognise when your soul is tired. You often mistake the tiredness of your soul for physical tiredness, for dissatisfaction with your life. And the thing is, there is often no correlation between physical tiredness and soul tiredness, though one can affect the other.
My Soulmate is almost never tired. He attributes it to the fact that he practices Ashtanga yoga everyday (except moon days). Along with his physical yoga practice, he meditates too. He has a crazy hectic life where he works as a surgeon in the UK but lives in Phuket. He has a collection of ‘energy tools’ to enable him to function efficiently from beach to plane to operating theatre.
“Oh, I will do the balasana on the plane,” he would say with a big smile, as if life is that easy. “It brings fresh oxygenated blood to my brain, I’ll be raring to go.”
Indeed, he always hits the ground running.
Balasana is commonly known as child’s pose. In this version, you don’t go to sleep in the pose. It is an active pose. Your arms have to be straight, elbows locked and only the little fingers are touching the ground. Your attention is focussed on the spot between your eyebrows to bring the flow of energy to your brain.
(Note: the empty glass. We often do our yoga practice together and we would put a glass of water on the mat that we channel our energies into. We ‘share’ the energy drink after our practice).
Yoga is one of those lifelong practices that does not cost much. Once established, you do not even need to go for classes (there are many podcasts available free on the internet). Meditation costs even less. You don’t even have to be mobile and fit to do meditation. It only takes a few minutes each day BUT NOTE: it is only effective if you commit to the practice over a long period of time.
But think about this: we rush around putting money into our bank accounts but what about the most important account of all?
This photograph of me was taken when my soul had just woken up from a good nurturing rest. Though I was still physically ill, the light had come on within me once more.
There are many different types of meditation. The three that helped me can be found on our blogs.