Richmond has a thriving yoga scene, there's no doubt about that, and Richmond's darling yogini, Olivia Yohai, has truly made an impact on us here. On the mat as well as in the treatment rooms (Olivia is also a Massage Therapist at Boketto!) her heartfelt demeanor, and gentle assists are transformative. True to form, below Olivia share’s a few meditation tips to reduce the stress of current events.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Stress on the mind, the body, the spirit— creating the momentum necessary to move through life in this society is taxing on every level. With grace and gratitude, here’s a simple remedy: practicing the art of meditation.
Taking even just 5-10 minutes in the morning to meditate can change the pacing of your entire day. Learning to meditate is a journey, and Olivia’s compiled a small guide to help you begin on the path:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place. Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff. It's also helpful to wear comfortable clothing so you're no distracted.
- Try to put aside all thoughts of the past and the future and focus on the present.
- Become aware of your breath, attuning to the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall and the air enter your nostrils and leave your mouth. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.
- Watch every thought come and go, whether it be a worry, fear, anxiety, or hope. When thoughts come up in your mind, don't ignore or suppress them. Simply note them, remain calm, and use your breathing as an anchor. (If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, observe where your mind went off to, without judgment, and just return to your breathing. Remember not to be hard on yourself if this happens.)
- As the time comes to a close, sit for a minute or two, becoming aware of where you are. Get up gradually.
From Olivia’s Personal Practice
- Sometimes it’s nice to create a nice space. Sometimes it’s nice to sit with your mess and just focus on you. Make that choice, and know that meditation is always available!
- Scent can be supportive. Candles, incense, sprays, essential oils can trigger your mind into your parasympathetic state which we is our main goal for meditation. Find what works for you.
- I like to include crystals to center myself and the room.
- Pets are welcomed additions. My cat was sitting right next to me the entire time I was recording. If you’re including your dog or pup make sure you have a little extra time so that you can allow them to relax. This is always such a treat.
- Dedicate to your practice. There are so many different ways to meditate. Even an “unsuccessful” sit is a sit—consistency gets you to the practice you want, and need.
- Set small goals. If you set goals that you can accomplish easily your mind will feel good and want to continue with it. Try to set a goal that seems realistic for you to practice every single day for a month and commit. I suggest, sitting for 3-5 minutes to start.
- Find the time that works for you. Maybe it’s when you first wake up. Maybe it is right before bed. This helps with consistency.
- Make it fun by doing it with a friend. Accountability partners are a great way to cultivate a practice. Check in weekly to discuss how it's going, or not. And support one another’s goals for meditation.
- When in doubt, remember everyone can meditate! Meditation is for all.
Much love, Olivia
Practice Meditating with Olivia