Q & A: Meditation Practice

Paige Nowak is a CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center yoga teacher and mindfulness coach. We asked her to share her experiences from a decade of studying meditation around the world and how you can begin your own meditation practice today.

How did you get into meditation?
“I began meditating 10 years ago when I first started studying yoga. Since then I have tried myriad styles of meditation. There are many schools of thought on how to meditate but it all comes back to one thing- the breath!”

What have you gained from meditation?
“Meditation has equipped me with patience, compassion and a sense of calm in my life. Through mindful meditation, I have learned to react less to the stressors of my day and don’t get caught up the little dramas that arise. There is no immunity to the challenges of the world, but because of meditation, I have a tool to rely on when I feel overwhelmed or unsettled.’

Why should others try meditation?
“Meditation can literally change your life! Done consistently it can slow the aging of the brain, increase grey matter, decrease social anxiety, lower stress hormones and promote creative thinking. And that’s just the beginning of benefits!”

How do I start a meditation practice?
“You are ready to begin meditating wherever you are. There is no special skill you need to gain in order to meditate “properly.” The most common reasons I hear for not meditating are, “I don’t know how” or “I don’t have time.” An old adage goes, If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour everyday, then you should meditate for two.

Practically, most of us don’t have time for a long meditation like this everyday but that doesn’t mean we can’t meditate at all. One conscious inhale and exhale is a meditation. Taking a break throughout the day to pause, check in with your breath, your body and take a long slow breath will benefit your day immensely.

Meditation doesn’t just happen on a cushion in a dim room. Every moment of your day is an opportunity to meditate. Pausing before reacting is a meditation. Mindful eating is a meditation. Having patience with your children is a meditation. Taking a moment to notice your surroundings is a meditation.

Connect to your breath wherever you are and you have already begun to meditate!”

For more information on our yoga classes, visit our group exercise page HERE.

Anschutz Health and Wellness Center