Why I Don’t Meditate – Yoga Journal

Why I Don’t Meditate – Yoga Journal

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I’m not a habit-driven person. I wake up at a different time each morning. Sometimes I head to the gym, while other days I go to yoga. Even my working hours are varied. Depending on the day, you can find me typing away after dinner or arriving first at happy hour.

So, it’s not a surprise that when it comes to setting a meditation routine, I’ve failed. Like, really failed. When I’ve attempted to carve out 10 minutes in the morning for meditation (whether it’s screaming, silent, or in song), I ended up skipping it. (I’ll admit that what often drives me to yoga class after a sleepless night is the late cancellation fee.) But I’ve never honed in on my inability to set aside the time to set with myself.

A Reframing 

I’ve always considered meditation to require 10 (long) minutes. I’m not sure where the arbitrary time came from, but it stuck. Sure, 10 minutes might feel like nothing in the scope of the 24-hour day. But, during my rushed mornings and afternoons and evenings, 10 minutes means time to empty the dishwasher, respond to five emails, or listen to “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).” So I sacrifice my meditation practice for these other tasks or interests. But, lately, I’ve reconsidered my approach to meditation—and what it requires. 

Neeti Narula, a YJ contributor, often posts her morning meditation practice to her Instagram. In her Reels, she discusses the challenges of making the time to come to her mat. This surprised me. I’d assumed that Neeti, an accomplished yoga teacher, had no trouble finding the time for mindful practices. In my head, that was an issue that only non-yoga teachers dealt with. The “lackluster” practitioner I identify myself as. But that wasn’t the case.

“There are mornings where I’m up against the clock, knowing the kids might wake at any moment, and sometimes that makes me question whether I should even attempt to practice,” she writes in a recent post. She goes on to speak to the value inherent in setting some time aside for tuning into her mind and body. It’s something I’ve experienced, too, when I’ve been, well, forced to find the time.

In a recent meditation class hosted by Balance’s meditation coach, Ofosu Jones-Quartey, he revealed his own struggles to keep a consistent meditation routine. As he led us through the practice, he reminded us that wandering thoughts were okay. Self-deprecation was not. I left questioning myself and my own relationship to the practice. Why was I so hung up on an arbitrary number? Was there a different way to approach it?

“For me, the progress is the commitment,” Neeti writes in a recent post. “I’ve never been a morning person, but I love the way starting my day through connecting with myself has shaped my life. It all began with a spot on my rug, a 2-minute timer on my iPhone, and my breath.”

I’m taking my lead from Neeti. Instead of thinking about it as a 10-minute obligation to check off my list, I’m reframing it as a 2-minute break to breathe. All I have to do is inhale and exhale for 2 minutes. That I can do.

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