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What is Meditation?

Meditation isn't just for the yogi experts, or the vegans, or the people who have been to Woodstock...or whatever else comes to mind when you stereotype what meditation is and who would meditate. Meditation is for everyone and could be exactly what you need to relieve stress and find peace and direction in your everyday life.

In the most simple form, meditation is merely the process of bringing your mind back to the present moment. Most days we live lost in the past, future, to-do lists or other stories our mind wants to take us on and tell us are more important.

There are so many statistics out there, but I recently heard the mind has over 60,000 a day. Contrary to what many think, meditation is not the process of shutting off your thoughts, as that is impossible.

Meditation is about the process of clearing space in the mind, no matter what is happening around you, so that you can be completely present in the current moment.

I know from personal experience, beginning the process of meditating can be frustrating, confusing and overwhelming because you feel like nothing is happening. Meditation can also bring up feelings of frustration because it can be difficult to re-direct the mind back to the here and now when it wants to take you in a million different directions.

As ironic as it sounds, it can feel very overwhelming and nearly stressful to figure out how to let go of anxiety and be still with your thoughts and your breath.

Good news... that is why it is called a meditation practice. A practice is something to do consistently in an effort to grow. There is no need to worry about "doing it right" or "not being good at it." Just sit and breathe, there is no right or wrong with that process, the body knows what to do, join it with your mind and bring attention to the breath.

The other challenge people find with exploring meditation is feeling like they have to meditate in a certain way or at a certain time. Are there suggested ways to sit and environments to practice? Sure.

But, you don't have to sit cross legged in a dark quiet room, with candles, chanting. The reality is, when we are starting off with anything new, it can be difficult to see enough value to make the dedicated time and clear space in our busy calendars.

Part of my personal mission is to educate as many people as possible all over the world who want to learn more on where to begin, help them directly experience the benefits and provide ways on how to make it possible to bring wellness practices into their busy everyday lives.

Why Should I Care?

If you are a human being living on this planet, in this day and age, I can promise you, you will benefit and need some meditation in your life. Educating people on the what, why and how of wellness practices like yoga and meditation is one of the reasons I created The Yoga Movement.

Part of the reason we carry so much stress and tension is because our minds run constantly thinking about things that have happened, will happen or could happen.

What we don't realize is that when our mind is somewhere else, we are completely missing the moment. Not only are we missing the present moment when we are wrapped up in our thoughts, but we are also creating tension, stress, anxiety, lack of focus and so many other pressures on our physical bodies because we spend so much time playing out scenarios rather than being in the here and now.

So, why meditate? Feel less stressed, lower anxiety levels, lessen tension and be able to enjoy more of the here and now rather than worrying and living in fear or anticipation of the what "could have, should have or will be."

To help you get started on your meditation practice, guided meditation podcasts or recordings can be an enormous help, giving you focus, direction and instructions to let go of your surroundings, thoughts, fears and anxiety—and teach you how to begin to tune into your breath and the body. This is exactly why I am creating a guided meditations album to add to your journey toolkit. The album will be another resource you can use at any point in time to help you calm, re-focus and tap into some inspiration.

In the coming weeks, the entire guided meditation album, Journey with Me: Guided Meditations to Calm, Re-Focus and Inspire , including over 20 tracks will be available for purchase on I-Tunes. What I love about these meditations is that they were created for the most common triggers in our day (anxiety, food cravings, low energy, bad day, angry at your boss, traffic, etc.) and will help you learn how to go to your own meditative space –no matter the setting.

As a sneak peek, I have shared three of the meditation tracks for you to download for free that will be a part of the complete album. Download the track (or all three) that calls to you and begin your meditation practice with me today.

I look forward to our journey together.



Jodi Ashbrook