5 Things I Think About When I’m (Not) Meditating

Meditation is as integral to a yoga practice, but for some of us, it can be more challenging than a complicated arm balance.

I have no trouble stilling my mind as I move my body through asanas, but when I sit to meditate, even for just a few minutes, my mind dances from thought to thought. I try. I really do. But whether I’m sitting for the first five minutes of a yoga class or for a longer stretch at home on my own, I very rarely find even a moment of peace. Those thoughts, they plague me.

But at least I’ve noticed some themes in the ways my mind wanders. That’s an important step, right? To identify the thoughts without judgement, and them let them drift away?

What’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner? Was that my stomach grumbling? I should have eaten something before my meditation session. Why am I always hungry anyway? Wait. Am I thinking? Inhale. Exhale.

Physical discomfort. I’m a little chilly. Maybe I should get a sweater or turn up the thermostat. This must be why people have meditation shawls. I should get one of those. And some socks. Do they make meditation socks? I’ve never seen any—that’s genius! A $1 million idea! Crap. I’m thinking again. Inhale. Exhale.

How long have I been sitting here? It has to have been at least an hour, probably more like two. I bet I never turned my timer on. Maybe I should open my eyes just for a second to see… that I’ve only been sitting for three minutes? How is that possible? I’m epically bad at this. OK. That’s not just thinking, but negative thinking. Inhale. Exhale.

Song lyrics. It’s as if the second I get out my meditation cushion my mind searches the catalog for the most annoying song or commercial jingle I’ve ever heard and puts it on repeat. Here’s a story, of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls. Wait. Am I thinking again? Inhale. Exhale.

Am I doing this right? I’ve read lots of meditation books, taken classes and workshops with amazing teachers, and have been trying to meditate for years, and yet there’s this nagging voice in my head that often pops up and makes me question if I’m missing something. Inhale. Exhale.

What thoughts disturb you when you try to meditate?