Posted by: Judy | March 12, 2014

Forgotten concentration techniques…

Poppypost talked about “Headspace.” I didn’t look into the meditation technique because reading her post reminded me of a technique I learned from a yoga teacher but had forgotten. It works for me, or at least it did. I want to try it again. I need it, now.

I wrote it out on her blog to help me remember, and I’m rewriting it here to firm it up in my mind.

The meditation was done during the final moments of the workout, during sponge. Laying on your back… oh, that’s probably one of the reasons I completely forgot about it. After I messed up my back, I haven’t been able to lay flat on my back without painful consequences for ten years now. I’ve become very aware of physical cues.

A year ago, I was encouraged to create a physical cue that help me calm.

It needed to be something easy. I chose pressing my finger and thumb together. At the same time, I would visualize standing on the beach, specifically at Belmont Beach. I can remember each visit with my close friends. I could always feel how my shoulders relaxed and dropped down from around my ears. I can remember how I’d breathe easier. I enjoyed the fresh ocean smell. I could feel the chill wind on my face. I’d take off my shoes and allow the water to shush over my feet, cold the first time but comfortable afterwards. I can feel the firm, wet sand beneath my feet, how it dribbles away as the water washes over. Even thinking this, I can feel the peace and calm.

I’d forgotten about the meditation technique taught in my yoga class because I could no longer do the physical pose that was part of starting the brain in the desired direction.

I need to find another pose for my meditation technique.

My teacher understood the struggle of emptying one’s head so always gave us lots of alternatives. She suggested visualizing a candle, putting it at the front of your thoughts. She assured us that our minds wandering is perfectly normal. The idea isn’t to stop this process, because that’s stressful, but instead to gently pull or corral the thought back to the candle. She suggested that if you could do it for a minute the first time that was really awesome, and to slowly add a little more time each time. The semester I had yoga, I lost 30 lb in 3 months. I thought it was the yoga… I wonder now if it was learning to calm and focus… hmmm… certainly worth looking into…

Maybe I’m finally ready to incorporate it into my life again…

Game Changer?


  1. Lately I’ve begun listening to something I found on a friend’s facebook page … I turn the volume down and let it simmer in the background, and it really does seem to help calm my spirit … here’s the youtube link:

    hope the link works (I’m awful about knowing how to do things technically).

    You can find it by searching “Marconi Union – Weightless” on youtube

    • I hope you don’t mind I removed the embedded link. I tried to edit it to work, but Google declared an error. I don’t “get” how to embed links. Thanks for sharing, ntexas99.

      • no, not at all … I still haven’t figured out why sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, and I hate it when broken stuff just clutters everything up, so I probably just should have given you the reference so you could search it on youtube if you wanted to check it out … I have to actually turn the volume down on it, otherwise I find the “heartbeat” too pronounced, but if I play it in the background while I’m doing other things, I’ve noticed it does tend to calm me down

        • The link does work. It was the embedding that didn’t. I don’t know why. I edited out a few things and it worked once, and then Google posted an error message. Interestingly enough, I never heard the “heartbeat.” It sounded a lot like the air purifier I use.

  2. One of my yoga teachers has a website with a guided meditation recording on it. I’ve been to her meditation class, but I had a hard time sitting still because I’d just run 12 miles and my hips did not appreciate sitting cross legged right after at all. I should’ve laid on my back (it was allowed, but I stayed in the starting position). I think comfort to sit still is the key. So I kind of failed at that part. But I did manage to calm my mind otherwise, even in my discomfort.

    • The nice part about the choosing a physical signal is you decide what the signal is. I consciously practiced the finger/thumb press along with the beach visualization every day for a week or two, and now all I have to do is press finger to thumb and I’m at the beach. The problem is remembering to press thumb and finger when I’m stressed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Me2, I forget to remember to do this. I am working on trying to remember it more often, like a visual reminder that is common in my environment?

    I love your description at the beach, it calmed me. xx TR

    • My love of the beach was acquired within the last 10 years or so. It’s the one place I knew I felt calm and at peace. Choosing to press my finger to my thumb was the easiest physical cue I could think of; it something I can do anytime, anywhere, and no one will know what it means but me… and people who know me well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      As to a visual reminder… I hadn’t thought of doing that. I don’t want it so common that I become desensitized to it… I tried a worry rock, and it didn’t really work for me. Something else… I’ll let my subconscious work on it for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I like the finger to the thumb; I might have to try this. ๐Ÿ™‚

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