Finding my Zen

Meditation. Praised by many, properly practiced by few. It really is an art, and something that takes a lot of practice to actually reap the benefits.

Meditating is something I really want to get in the habit of doing. I am a very busy-minded person, constantly on the go and thinking about what I have to do next. Sometimes I just want to tell my brain to CHILL OUT - a lot easier said than done, and I'm sure I am not alone on this one!

I always envy the people in yoga class that can peacefully slip into a deep meditation during savasana when I'm usually thinking about what I want to eat after the class or just straight up fall asleep. Solid meditation is hard sh*t and takes a lot of effort when you first start out - it may even be harder than "flipping your dog" ... which for anyone who has been to yoga with me knows that is the bane of my existence in a practice.

Last fall when I went to see a naturopath, we chatted about my lifestyle, what I do for a living, how much I sleep, what I do in my spare time, how much I workout, etc. I went in thinking that she was going to tell me I was sensitive to something or give me vitamins to take, but instead one of her first prescriptions was meditation. It was apparent that I was a little tense, and stress was something that was seriously messing with my body. She directed me to an app called Headspace that gave me access to a 10-minute guided meditation - a great place to start.

Benefits of Meditation:

• stress reduction

• increase serotonin production

(which helps improves mood)

• emotional stability

• mental clarity

• hormone balance

I'd be lying if I said I totally found my chi and meditate religiously - I don't, but wish I did ... When I did get the chance to slow down for that 10-minutes, I legitimately felt a lot better afterwards. Maybe it was a placebo effect, but it did wonders for my stress levels even for a brief moment.

I was reminded of all the wonderful things meditation has to offer last week at an event hosted by lululemon at Terre Bleu, a lavender farm in Milton, ON. It was 90 minutes of guided meditation by three amazing and very different teachers. Each had their unique way of telling us the same thing - BE PRESENT. I truly believe that is the greatest benefit to meditation - it forces you to be present in the moment and slow down.

I hope that one day I can be the woman in yoga class slipping into a deep state of meditation and not thinking about her next meal ... but who are we kidding? I'll probably still be meditating about food.

Stay zen, homies.