Meditation is about creating a pause, a break in the chaos of our day, to help us refocus our mind and keep calm in the midst of everyday busyness.
As a mom of two boys (2 and 4 years old), I find it’s no easy feat to schedule time on the calendar to sit down and meditate for 20 minutes each day like I used to do. Tasks pop up unexpectedly and eat any perceived downtime. I feel like I have to multitask my meditation practice just so I can fit it into the day. Furthermore, it seems like a luxury to take time for myself, be still, and do “nothing.”
Sound familiar, parents? I’ve found three simple ways to integrate meditation into my day.
1. While pushing the stroller.
Getting two kids into a double stroller can be stressful at times (hello, tantrums!), so while I push them in their stroller on their way to drop off at school, I listen to a guided meditation with the earphones in ONE ear. (The other ear is free to listen to cars, construction and other sounds I should be aware of). It’s a great way to get centered in the morning.
2. During nap time.
When my little one naps, I take 2 to 3 minutes to practice trataka, a practice of concentration and focus using the eyes. I’ll find an object of focus—a flower if I’m outside or a candle flame if I’m indoors. First, I see the object in relation to the space around it. Then I see it as a whole, by itself. After that, I focus on each detail of the object, one-by-one. Then I see it again as a whole and finally, in relation to the space around it.
3. When putting my kids to bed.
I have a hard time putting my kids to bed. Does anyone else feel me? They are very sweet, and all they want to do is cuddle, but they won’t go to sleep without me pinned down in between them on the floor. It takes them about 20 minutes to fall asleep, so I use that time to practice yoga nidra—lying completely still and playing dead until they fall asleep. (Perhaps some of you already practice corpse pose without knowing it!)
Yoga is about embracing duality, right? So if you have trouble making time to meditate, try these quick, easy and creative ways to multitask—er, integrate—yoga into your life.