Meditation is something that I know makes me feel better, that I know I should make time for every day, but that I struggle to fit into my life that’s already bursting at the seams. While on my yoga teacher training course we meditated for 30 minutes every morning before our first class, and I quickly reaped the benefits. It made me calmer, more focussed and more able to cope with stressful situations, of which there were many. However, on returning home, I struggled to find the time to fit it into my daily routine, and when I did, I found that (unsurprisingly) I got more distracted than I did at the yoga shala in Bali.
Recently, I’ve been making meditation a priority again. After my short morning yoga practice, I now aim to meditate for about 10 minutes. Not a record breaking time I know, but long enough to focus my mind for the day and short enough that I can realistically fit it in.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
When practised on a regular basis, meditation can have amazing affects on both your body and mind. You really don’t have to be meditating for long periods of time, just 5-10 minutes a day can have a really positive impact on your health and wellbeing. I love this infographic from The Art of Living, which shows some of the benefits of meditation:
HOW TO MEDITATE
When I meditate, I sit in a comfortable cross-legged or kneeling position, close my eyes and begin to focus on my breath. Thoughts constantly pop into my mind, but I just try to acknowledge them before letting them pass by, reminding myself that if they’re important, they’ll come back later in the day. Sometimes the practise comes easily, whilst at others it feels almost impossible. The key is to stick with it regardless – it’s an ongoing practise that relies on consistency more than anything else. I always set a timer on my phone (on airplane mode) so that I don’t get distracted by concerns about overrunning, which is a worry when meditating before work. I have also started using the most AMAZING meditation app called Buddhify. It’s basically an app for meditation on the go, and has guided meditations for when you’re on a work break, walking through the city or travelling, as well as those for going to sleep and seated meditation. I love listening to them on my way to work, as it means I arrive stress-free and ready to tackle the mayhem of the school classroom.
The biggest challenge that I’ve faced while meditating, is finding a seated position that I can sit comfortably in for a long period of time. I used to kneel with a yoga bolster between my legs, propped up on a block, which although comfortable became less so when the cushion became too compressed causing my hips to sink down. When I was contacted by Basaho, a new company specialising in mediation cushions, I was intrigued to see whether or not the cushions could help develop my meditation practise.
BASAHO: MEDITATION CUSHIONS WITH DESIGN IN MIND
Basaho is the creation of husband and wife team, Tarun and Emmanuelle. A stressful job in London’s financial district left Tarun stressed out and unfulfilled. He quit his job and set out to travel across Asia where he discovered the transformative effects of meditation.The couple met as roommates in a London flatshare. It was a perfect match as Tarun was looking for a way to help others find meditation and Emmanuelle had the creativity and design experience to turn a concept into reality. And so Basaho was born! The name means ‘just be’ in Hindi. The pair travelled around India searching for the perfect production partner and they were very fortunate to find a skilled specialist who was able to bring quality to their designs, making them in a way that’s organic, sustainable and fair.
The cushions are fresh and stylish, whilst maintaining the integrity of a design that has been around for millennia. The brand aims to make great looking cushions that inspire and motivate regular people to meditate. With meditation rightfully coming into the mainstream, it’s only natural that the humble meditation cushion has made a bit of a come-back.
I absolutely love my cushion, the Full Anandita Yellow. The cushion is incredibly firm, which is perfect as it keeps the hips slightly elevated, making sitting for a period of time much more comfortable. The quality fabrics and beautiful design also mean that it looks great in the sitting room and I’m happy to have it as part of the decor rather than having to find space in a cupboard for it. What I like most of all is quality and attention to detail.
I honestly can’t thank Basaho enough for transforming my meditation practice and for making me realise the importance of sitting comfortably while trying to meditate. With my pretty cushion constantly on display, it also serves as a constant reminder to me to find time to meditate. If you would like to try one of these cushions, use twins20 at the checkout to receive a 20% discount.
DO YOU HAVE A REGULAR MEDITATION PRACTISE? ANY ADVICE?