The one-minute meditation
The easiest excuse we conjure for why we don't do things that are good for us is time. Time is the ultimate scapegoat. We don't have time to go to the gym, practice yoga, stretch, eat healthy or meditate.
Real talk: You can meditate in one minute. You have time.
I'm a busy gal. I work a full-time job, teach yoga, blog and am training for a half-marathon. Sometimes I truly don't have 30 minutes to spare for meditation, which I used to beat myself up over. I thought I needed to meditate for at least 30 minutes a day in order to be an adequate yoga teacher. Silly me. That's not what yoga teaches us.
Some days, all we have is a minute. And it's those days that we need this minute the most. So get up one minute earlier, watch one minute less of TV or check one less email and do this one-minute meditation.
Sit tall with a long spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Draw your shoulders away from the ears, releasing any tension in the neck/shoulders.
Feel grounded in all four corners of both feet, feeling energy both pulling you down and lifting you up.
Close your eyes and breathe. Notice how this breath feels. Feel the belly rise as you inhale and the fall as you exhale.
Now start to take fuller, deeper breathes, filling your lungs like a balloon.
Take 10 breathes like this, focusing all your attention on the breath. Notice anything that comes up — outside distractions, wanderings of the mind or stress that you can't seem to release. Tense the whole body up, as if it's being coiled up into one ball, and then release with a big exhale. Let all of that tension go.
In one minute, you've practiced meditation and given yourself the gift of a clearer mind and more open body. And this is a present you can regift any time you need.
Meditation doesn't have to be hard and it doesn't have to take a long time. The one-minute meditation above is similar to how I start every yoga class I teach. I think it's important to spend 1-5 minutes preparing the mind, body and spirit to receive the most benefits from your yoga practice.
To put that in perspective: if we spend five minutes like this in a one-hour class, that's 8.3% of our practice. If we spend one minute of our day like this, that's only 0.069% of our day. I think we can all reasonably devote 0.069% of our day to presence.