I believe that everyone has the right to know how to relieve their stress.
We must remember that stress is a natural state for the body to feel. The issue, is that we do not seem to have learned how to ‘de-stress’ without the need of something tangible…..
Some people may drink alcohol to de-stress, some may go on holiday to de-stress, some may do some ‘retail therapy’ or get their hair or their nails done, some people may smoke cigarettes to de-stress and some may go for a run.
All of these listed above are coping mechanisms, they are ways we have witnessed others, or been told/taught by others that if we do do 1 or more of them, it will help us to feel less stressed. I agree that they do make you feel less stressed, however what I also know, is that they are all costly to our resources, whether to our time, our health or our money and they are merely escaping our stress, as opposed to addressing our stress. What I mean by that, is that we are numbing the stress, or suppressing the stress, running away from the stress. Let me elaborate further, when you are then sober, or return home from your shopping trip or holiday, your stressor still remains.
Why did I start ‘stress less, relax to the max’?
I grew from a child into an angry teenager, with a lot to say, or shout should I say. I swore at teachers, bunked off in the toilet and became a very self centred , materialistic, and narcissistic individually actually. All I could see in my life was me, as long as I looked good and had the attention from guys and had money in the bank, I didn’t care so much for anything else.
I finished full time education in June 2011, when I was 20 and went to work in the city (London) and I went in-between jobs until 2015, but let’s just rewind to Sep 2014, when a seed was planted, that I have contemplated on ever since.. I was in Thailand, with my childhood sweetheart, we were in the Phi Phi islands, with his Dad & Step Mum. “What makes you tick?” my boyfriend’s Dad at the time asked me. I don’t recall anyone ever asking me this before in my life, I was quite taken back and didn’t know how to answer..
On May 31st 2015 I boarded a 1 way flight to Darwin, Australia and the rest is kinda history, until 1st June 2017 when I handed my notice in at my full time job in London. I had no idea how i’d pay off my monthly outgoings, but I didn’t even think about that, I just knew I had a mission to get woking on. November 7th that year was when it all started and I taught my first ever ‘stress less, relax to the max’ female only meditation session.
Some 5,000 years ago in India, The Bhagavad-gita was born and then came Yoga…
In Sanskrit, (Mother of all Indian language) ‘Dhyana’ in English means ‘Meditation’ which is the 7th limb of ‘Yoga’
Imagine Yoga as a tree trunk, and the tree trunk has 8 big branches (limbs), Meditation is 1 limb.
Notice too how a tree has roots, yoga connects you to the roots, actually the meaning of yoga is ‘unity or union’ connecting you to all universe.
Going to the root takes longer, but lasts longer.
For one to ‘Meditate’ you need not speak sanskrit, or be Indian, or follow the Hindu faith for that matter. Not every Indian person meditates and not every Indian is a Hindu. Yoga is not a religion, it is a lifestyle one adopts.
Any one person can practice meditation, if they want to.
If you’re thinking about practicing Meditation, or Yoga, I have a few things to say..
Yoga is a habitual lifestyle that one adopts. Just because 1 attends a yoga class once per week, does not make someone a Yogi. Yoga is a disciplined way of life, with 8 limbs, a true and disciplined Yogi lives life fulfilling all 8 limbs.
At ‘Stress Less, Relax To The Max’ we work on the 7th limb; Meditation (Dhyana)
Science shows that Meditation is Medication. Meditation is a practice we adopt as a daily habit. If you were prescribed anti depressants by a GP, you wouldn’t decide when to take your pills, the GP would advise you to take them everyday for ‘x’ weeks. Meditation is the same in the sense that you must practice daily to gain cure. What makes Meditation differ to pharmaceutical medicine is that, 1. It is 100% natural, you know whats in it and 2. To meditate is free, you need nothing to meditate, just yourself.
People will practice Meditation for different reasons; Spiritual, Religious, Relaxation etc so what we must remember is that everyone will have different experiences with Meditation, that said in mind, every meditation is an experience.
Here’s a few of my Meditation experiences..
The first time I ever consciously partook in ‘meditation’, I was 24, and I was sat on the floor, in a beautiful ocean view apartment where I was living, on Scarborough Beach, in Perth, Western Australia.
I felt like up until this point, (2014) I always went through life on auto pilot, not putting much thought or consideration into things, not weighing up pro’s & cons, just acting on impulse as such. With further research, I now understand that the prefrontal cortex (rational) part of my brain wasn’t fully developed. On average the human brain’s journey to ‘completion’ is usually by the age of 25. Which explains why most teens are fearless, they haven’t the full ability to rationalise.
My Brazillian and Polish housemates suggested we meditate. I didn’t actually feel confident or knowledgeable in the field of Meditation, so I just felt nervous at the thought and I froze, because I didn’t know what to do and I felt worried that I wouldn’t do it right, essentially I felt scared. Again, this is really normal, because the brain’s function is to keep us safe, so we either go into ‘flight fight or freeze’, I did the latter.
I waited for them to make the first move and they sat on the floor cross legged, so I sat with them. I felt so nervous, because, what if at the end I didn’t get enlightened or be taken to a higher consciousness, which is what my understanding of meditation was, it was something that only spiritual people did. I didn’t even know how to be spiritual! I was a 24 year old girl from England who was a consumerist & materialist!
We closed our eyes and everyone went quiet, I suppose I was waiting for God to intervene, the G word was one I really despised, I remember opening my eyes for a couple of times, and we were still in the same room, the guys next to me, so what’s happening then? Nothings happening…
Besides my polish housemate and me, the rest were Brazillian and all their friends were Brazillian, we set off 1 day to this place, which seemed like someones garden and we all wore nothing but white clothing. It was called ‘Umbanda’. I couldn’t understand a word of what anyone said as it was all in Portuguese, I had no idea what we were doing there, or what we were supposed to do, but I remember when it was my turn to speak with these superiors, I remember speaking very quietly and asking “what is the meaning of life?”
“To live” answered the females very soft voice. It has been at the centre of my contemplation ever since, I will remember this moment for all eternity.
When I next sat down to meditate, I was in Bali, Indonesia. I was staying at this beautiful ocean & mountain view apartment looking out on the volcanic sand on the East of the island, a place called Amed.
There was a local guy, he had long dreads, tattooed skin, but noticeably cool & calm. I remember I was planning to head out one day on my moped, and I kept forgetting things. I ended up running back and fourth to my apartment numerous times. On one of the times I was swiftly walking by, the guy asked me to sit beside him. I told him, i’m going out, (I mean, I was travelling Bali, where on earth did I have to go?!) he insisted I sit beside him, I felt nervous to, is he going to hit on me? After a few times, I finally sat down. I felt so nervous by this point, scared I suppose, so again, I froze. We were in such close proximity, what does he want?
He asked me to give him my hand. I then felt even more nervous, how will I get away if he takes my hand? I looked up to see people around us, so I figured I was safe, so I gave him my hand, and in that moment everything changed. It was as if the weight fell from my body and my heart was at the spa..
so anyway, it was he who took me to meditate. We drove off on his moped, we arrived at someones house, where chickens were roaming around, I took off my shoes, and we entered a room, which was like a shrine, I sat down and in came a man, dressed head to toe in white robes and white hair and didn’t speak a word of English. I had flowers put on my head, I had rice pressed against my forehead and water delicately splashed in my face, he even touched parts of my body and moved me around a little, I had no idea what was going on.
At the end, the non english guy was saying a few things, and Mr Dreads was translating to me and tears trickled down my cheeks..
Back in England later on into 2016 I discovered something called ‘personal development’. I started to read a lot of books, listen to a lot of public speakers, tune into podcasts and watch videos on youtube and this is when I was connected back to Meditation. Online this time though, with Guided meditation, where someone would speak and talk you through your meditation. It’s very calming and nice and relaxing, different to any experience I had previously had.
In 2018 I made a dream come true and I flew on my own to Delhi, India. I found myself in a bit of a predicament in England and when I asked the question, ‘India’ was the answer.
‘I am travelling to India for 5 weeks to learn Yoga’ that’s what I told my clients, my family & my friends, and off I went. When I meditated in India, I was at my Guru’s home, sat bare foot, wearing everything but lycra! I sat on just a straw weaved yoga mat on a concrete floor. The pressure on my ankles made me feel pain, ”it’s good for your pressure points” Guru would say.
Hands positioned in ‘chin mudra’. A mudra seals your practice. We started by chanting (repeating aloud) ‘Om’ numerous times and then sat in pure silence. Guru told me to focus on my breath and picture ‘yogeshwar ramlal ji maharaj’
In 2019 I discovered a Buddhist Monastery in England, called Amaravatti. I dipped my toes in the water and spent a couple of hours here on a Saturday. We practiced sitting down and walking meditation, both types of meditation, we focused on our consciousness/ awareness in the present moment AKA ‘Mindfulness’ meditation.
In May 2019 I stayed at the monastery on a 5 day noble silent retreat. On retreat we followed the 8 precepts;
Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
Trustworthiness: not taking anything that is not offered.
Celibacy: refraining from any sexual activity.
Right Speech: avoiding false, abusive or malicious speech and idle chatter. Whilst on retreat keeping Noble Silence.
Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drinks or drugs that lead to carelessness.
Renunciation: not eating after midday.
Restraint: not wearing make-up, perfume, jewellery or immodest clothing; not texting, emailing, making telephone calls or using the internet; not playing or listening to music, or watching TV.
Alertness: refraining from overindulgence in sleep.
Like I say, people practice meditation for different reasons, so the first thing is to figure out, why do I want to learn about meditation? Then when you have your answer you can create a daily practice to keep you in line.
I think people get put off by the idea of meditation, thinking they have to chant and sit for hours on end, and this is not the case if you just want a bit of relaxation.
To try a Complimentary ‘Stress Less, Relax To The Max’ Meditation workshop,
I have experienced stress at work, through job security, through poor management, through clientele bullying and through office antics. Stress at work led me to drink alcohol on a regular basis to numb my feelings and my thoughts and to help me switch off at the end of a day. I never knew how to deal with work stress, so I would just quit a job if I felt unhappy. I just thought to myself, that I am worthy of a better environment than this.
I now work with many individuals, both male & female who also experience work based stress.
To find out your suitability and to book a class, please email; firstname.lastname@example.org
STRESS LESS, RELAX TO THE MAX LTD is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 11384071 Registered office address: 23 Digswell Park Road, WGC, Herts, AL8 7NW, England, UK