If you are one of those people that eye roll someone when they say, 'you need to be more present' ... meditation is for you. It's often hard to just make the switch and "be more present" however, peeeopple love saying it without any answers as to how.
Don't stress- (another common statement that gives no guidance whatsoever) ... I have the secrets!
I didn't realise but often I would be breathing through my mouth and out of my mouth (very loud breather). I also didn't realise just how important the nose is. Air that passes through the nostril filters dust, bacteria and all that weird stuff that floats around in the air (so cool!). Considering this air travels into the lungs and is directly connected to the nervous system, the power of breath really should be talked about more.
Interval... to give some gratitude to your beautiful nose.
As a Grade 4 teacher, you can either spend your whole day yelling and getting mad by the things that are often out of your control (at the time) or you can learn to control your breath and stay calm through the circus that may be going on. I have learnt that kicking and screaming really doesn't help the situation other than making you feel exhausted, more frustrated and overwhelmed. Meditation has had a natural rebound effect on my life and I was pretty shocked at how quickly it did.
I was so amazed at how I began to naturally use the breath techniques that my meditation/ Pranayama teacher had shown me in my everyday life (serious girl crush). To me meditation is like exercise for the brain and the breath. As someone with IBS and a lot of emotions (a lot of emotions), breath work through meditation and yoga has been about the only 'medicine' that has worked.
Meditation allows you to have a better connection and relationship with your body, soul and mind in everyday moments. By controlling the breath in a calming way, it is easier to address situations through love, compassion and positivity rather than our stress emotions dramatising the situation.
This gives us a stronger awareness of how our emotions influence our behaviour and outlook on situations. By having a controlled breath, it is far easier to stay present and control our emotions. If our breath comes undone, it is usually because we are thinking about the past or the future worries that come along with a situation. This is my opinion anyway... test it out though: do a wacky/ undone- mouth breath - see if your mind wonders into an anxious state (or travels into past or future worries). Now control it and breathe through the nose.... and out of the mouth--- does your mind and chest appear more calm and present? (maybe I AAAMMM nuts!).
Because I can't take my meditation teacher with me everywhere (although I wish she could just downsize into a little, polly pocket so that I could), I decided to use her techniques during pivotal points in the day. This has helped me to breath through the nose and out through the mouth the whole day, which in turn has helped me to be more present and address situations with more optimistic emotions.
I would recommend going to a class, watching YouTubes or downloading an App to help you to truly understand the power of the breath and how we can cleanse our insides with it. It is an internal experience that allows you to unblock stagnant areas in the body. I'm not going to lie to you... my first class was bloody exhausting. I was very surprised that we didn't just lay on our backs the whole time, breath in incense and listen to 'ooo sha pa pa' music.
Meditation is an internal, spiritual journey but a journey that will make your life journey a more present one.
So now when somebody tells you "to be more present" while they are scrolling through instagram... you can tell them how :)