Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!

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Ever try to do a “focused attention” meditation and all you could focus on was how gosh darn uncomfortable you were? Though step one of meditation is often times to sit in a comfortable seated position, this can be hard to do when yoga blocks, bolsters and yoga mats can be uncomfortable. Steph and Kristi over at Sittin Pretty Still, the same gals behind everyone’s favorite wisdom telling candle, are gearing up to mass produce a star shaped meditation cushion for you.

I was fortunate enough to test out the meditation cushion for myself and was very pleased with the results. It is gorgeous to look at and I love the idea of having a cushion that’s only purpose is to meditate on. One on going stressor in my life that I would love to see an improve is lack of sleep. Sleep hygiene is defined as the behavioral and environmental practice that is intended to promote a healthier sleep cycle consisting of higher quality sleep, one way this is cultivated is typically through the practice “sleep training” in which a person exclusively uses his or her bed for sleep and sex only. It is in the absence of eating in bed, watching tv in bed or other activities that helps train your brain to know that when you are in bed it is sleeping time and it is supposed to help with insomnia.

When I was entertaining the idea of obtaining a meditation cushion I got really excited about the prospect of having something so soaked in intention that could help me create a space for meditation both in my room and in my mind.

I’ve heard that meditation is a great way to unlock hidden intuition that would normally be trapped behind layers and layers of distractions or the ever persistent “monkey mind” that so many of us (myself included) succumb to in this day and age. And now was my chance to try it for myself…

My First Try at the Cushion

The candle AND the tea was a little much, but still not a bad try for a “first go” 😉

I consider myself a novice meditator, I think I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve attempted to formally meditate, despite taking over 400 yoga classes, meditation was just never my thing. When I first received the cushion, I didn’t want to be too ambitious and then feel let down or upset with myself so I aimed to meditate for 5 minutes. A time window I know for sure I can fit into my busy life. In order to do this, I set a timer for 6 minutes that way I was able to settle in without cutting into my allotted 5 minutes.

I felt a little intimidated at the idea “what am I supposed to do? Just sit there for 5 minutes and magically expect my life to get better?” The fidgetiness settled in so I danced around a bit and decided to light a candle, make some tea (for both aromatic effect and reward at the end), and pull out some small objects for me to focus my gaze on and be aware of all the little intricacies.

What I soon noticed was that the tea and candle competed with each other for my scent awareness and just one would do next time. I also realized it didn’t matter if I had really tiny adorable meditation objects to look at while I meditated …because my eyes were closed. But I decided to let this thought go and just settle in faster next time.

Which is what I did.

Aerial view of a simplified spread

On the Go

(Puppy not included)

Thanks to the carrying handle, I was able to take the cushion with me into the office with no problem at all. It was easy to steal away and plop down. The cushion is so cute and beautiful, that I found myself proud to take it around and show it off a little.

It took a handful of tries for me to get used to the idea of meditating and really start to enjoy it, but even now after just about a week and a half I can feel myself looking forward to my time on my Sittin Pretty Still cushion.

Pledge Yours Today

Close up

After trying this, I decided to get two for my family (so we wouldn’t fight over it). There is still time to get your Sittin Pretty Still Meditation Cushion by the holiday season by pledging and being a part of their Kickstarter campaign. There are less than 70 hours to go (as of June 12th 11:19am PDT). They have already met their goal so the project is on and you have nothing to lose in fact, if you pledge now you will get access to 4 guided meditations so you won’t have to futz around like I did on day one 😉

In closing I would like to say that at first the idea of “just sitting there” seemed a little daunting and I was worried that it wouldn’t do anything for me; however, that I still firmly believe you feel the benefits of meditation over time as the cumulative efforts of small action day in and day out.