If you’re like me, you’ve made resolution after resolution to fit daily meditation into your life. And each time, failed. Possibly miserably.
In my own case, it used to be that I would be off to a great start, improving rapidly and immediately seeing the benefits of clearing my mind. In more recent years, however, I’ve struggled more with getting that routine going.
Here’s why. The sitting position that is suggested and used during meditation was drawing all of my attention to my back pain! It was frustrating not being able to sit still for more than a couple minutes. I would give up almost immediately and tell myself I’d try again tomorrow. Well, tomorrow never came.
But I recently had an epiphany. What I thought was intermittent back pain, was really daily back pain that I just wouldn’t recognize some days. I was able to block out that build up of muscle tension simply because it accrued in the same way every single day.
What was the culprit of my pain? Sitting. Often on a less than perfect chair, bench, or stool while I toiled away on my computer. I would either block that pain or just accept it as just another day. And that’s where meditation gave me a new kind of benefit.
On those attempts to meditate, where my mindfulness was filled with bodily pain, it gave me awareness about how constant that back pain was. So what was my solution? To incorporate meditation with another routine I’ve struggled to maintain over the years. Daily Yoga.
Where before I would treat meditation and yoga as two separate daily goals for myself, they have now become one. Yoga is my pre-meditation exercise.
Most days, I’ll focus on yoga for back pain or back strength. Since I travel constantly, pulling up a quick YouTube video is much more convenient than finding a class. Once I’ve stretched and opened up all those back muscles, relaxed my spine, and given myself the boost of calming my mind before actually meditating, I can now sit comfortably through an entire meditation session.
In turn, that daily mindfulness has kept me more aware of pain accruing during the workday and I’m able to adjust my posture and do a quick series of stretches throughout the day.
If you’re having trouble with physical limitations in meditating or if you just know that your posture is deteriorating day after day, give some back-focused yoga sessions a try and release that tension.