Think meditation is about saying ‘om’ in the lotus position? Think again. In order to clear our minds and really switch off and meditate, there are a whole host of options. The DOSE team share theirs…
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Walking is totally my meditation. Preferably in a park or in a green space, but just pounding London’s pavements is how I switch off. No headphones, just ambient noise. Whether it’s getting from A to B or a walk just for the sake of it, it’s good for the step count and the soul.
I’ve never been good at sitting still and slowing down (even though I know that’s what I need) and find that the best way for me to switch off my thoughts is through high-intensity exercise as it means I can’t concentrate on what’s going on in my head! Spinning and hot yoga are my go-tos and if I have the time to stay in savasana at the end of a hot yoga class for 10-15 minutes that’s when I feel my most blissed out.
Just being in the company of my spaniel Chilli is my form of meditation. She really sorts my head out for the day. Stroking her fur helps me to feel calmer (petting animals has actually been proven to lower blood pressure by 10 per cent) , looking into her eyes gets the oxytocin going and being a particularly hyperactive breed who needs lots of exercise, she gets me out the house between laptop sessions to walk off any pent-up stress. She’s the best investment I ever made in my wellbeing.
I don’t meditate – other than lying on the floor at the end of yoga class – but I do feel relaxed painting my nails, when I have time. I hate getting them done in salon as it takes far too long. Weird but works for me!
The whole sitting still and “meditating” doesn’t actually work for me. The best meditation I have ever had happens when I’m just noodling on the piano – not playing sheet music but just playing from memory and feel and really letting the music take over everything I am. It’s an incredible experience and I don’t always get there when I practice or play – but it’s absolutely wonderful and healing when I do. I also get to that place during the meditation track when I teach – I secretly pick songs I know can get me to that magical place where you’re balanced and fully present – because I hope other people can feel it too.
I often meditate on the tube which sounds mad but it’s easier to drown out the noise than you think. I just close me eyes and put my hands in my lap so people think I’m sleeping. It really takes the stress out of rush hour
Spinning is how I meditate. I also have the CALM app and put my phone on aeroplane mode and listen to a sleep story before bed.
I am definitely with Hettie with the spaniel cuddles and walks. I have one too and really do see the benefits if you are in any form of slump. It either calms me with strokes or just gets me out the house, to get some fresh air and clear the head. My other one is horse riding every week. Totally clears any ridiculous worrying about nothing and monkey madness. Be it riding out in the countryside and just clearing the cobwebs or leaping over 4ft fences – you can’t possibly focus on anything other than getting over them and the bond between you and your horse.
I tend to use physical activity to meditate, the most obvious one being yoga but also other things like surfing and boxing. Basically anything that forces me to focus and be fully present. If I’m struggling to do a seated/unguided meditation I often do some Qigong or a breathing exercise (4-7-8 breathing or breath retention) which helps to get me in the right headspace. Also, one amazing mindfulness exercise I use regularly is when I’m out and about in London – I focus on one sound at a time, so for example, first I’ll focus on the sound of the traffic for 20 seconds or so, then I will move to the sound of people talking for a bit, and then the sound of my footsteps. It’s a really good grounding technique!
How do you get to your happy place?
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