Jason Crandell Shatters the Meditation Myths That are Holding You Back
Yoga teacher Jason Crandell is known for bringing a strong alignment focus and a mindful approach to power yoga, a methodology that has made him a popular international teacher and frequent yoga conference presenter. He now has a series of practical videos introducing the benefits of regular meditation on YogaGlo.com. He was kind enough to break down some commonly-held myths about meditation for us. If you’ve being clinging to any of these, you’ll soon see that they don’t need to keep you from starting to meditate any longer!
What’s the biggest myth about meditation that you’d like to bust?
Jason Crandell: The biggest myth that I’d like to bust is the notion that someone can’t meditate because their mind isn’t already quiet. This is like saying that you can’t go to the gym because you’re out of shape or eat food because you’re hungry. Our mind adapts to the challenges it faces. If your mind isn’t quiet — and you’d like to be more calm — meditation is for you. Personally, I don’t meditate because my mind is quiet. I meditate because my mind needs [the process of] becoming quiet.
What advice would you give people who think they are too tightly wound, busy, or inflexible to meditate?
JC: We’re all tightly wound, busy and inflexible. This is part of the human condition. But, these are not valid excuses for failing to take care of yourself. In fact, if you were NOT tightly wound, busy or inflexible, you probably wouldn’t benefit from meditation as much.
How can asana-lovers make meditation part of their routine?
JC: Simple. Sit for 5-10 minutes at the end of your active asana practice. Remember, seated meditation is an asana. In fact, it’s where all the asanas came from.
What does meditation bring you that you don’t get from asana?
JC: In Yoga, we cultivate both ends of the movement spectrum: we move thoroughly and completely, and we become still. Active asana practice and seated meditation are a natural pair. Cultivating movement without cultivating stillness is incomplete.
What are the benefits of group meditation?
It’s so cliche, but the group and teacher help “hold the space.” Meaning, the group tends to give us a feeling of belonging and shared experience.
JC: Like all group practices and experiences, sitting in a group helps us stay engaged and accountable. It’s so cliche, but the group and teacher help “hold the space.” Meaning, the group tends to give us a feeling of belonging and shared experience. Honestly, even introverts like myself benefit from sharing an experience with likeminded people.
Is meditation boring?
JC: It’s not particularly exciting. But, then, again, it’s not intended to be. Most of us have enough drama in other parts of our lives to fulfill our need for excitement.
Is meditation hard?
JC: Only if you have no idea what meditation is and you expect it to be something that it isn’t. Otherwise, no, putting your phone down, sitting for 5-10 minutes, and paying attention to the sensations, thoughts and feelings that are present is not very difficult. It’s much more difficult to do a pull up, swim a lap, or balance in handstand (which are all reasonable, good things to do in their own right).
Thank you to Jason for explaining how meditation can benefit us all!