Training the mind for silence requires the same enthusiasm and conviction as training the body. And just like exercise, practice and consistency delivers the desired result.
I imagine all good habits, from working out to eating right, starts with a plan. When I started doing yoga my only plan was to shrink the arse following me and to lose an extra chin. It was never my plan to learn a skill set that would prepare my mind and body for meditation, but that's exactly what happened. As it turns out, this is truly what the practice of yoga is all about.
For those that have never tried it, yoga is essentially configuring your body into various positions and then holding that posture for some time. In these positions your muscles tighten and your balance is challenged. Keeping the posture requires extreme focus and attention to what you're doing. And while our bodies are engaged, our mind is tasked solely with concentrating on finding and keeping stillness with each pose. This level of concentration, in the midst of activity, is exactly what an impactful meditation practice requires as well.
While this description of yoga may sound difficult (or maybe even painful), there is a peace and exhilaration that comes with building our poses and stretching our bodies in this way. More than that, yoga (also like meditation) does so much more than improve our physical health. It brings joy and openness that I have yet to experience with any other workout method (...and believe me, I've tried them all!).
In the article Finding Joy Through Movement the author writes:
Our mind, body and spirit are so intimately linked that everything we experience is stored within us. Oftentimes, aches, pains and illnesses that seemingly come out of nowhere have an emotional, psychological or spiritual root, and coming back to our body can induce great healing.
I have found this to be 100% true and because it's hard to convey how this works without actually feeling it, I'm encouraging each of you to try yoga on your own. There are YouTube resources and various apps to get you going. If you prefer an in-person experience, most yoga studios offer a free 1-week trial to test it out. With all of these options available, definitely take advantage.
There is just no other practice that trains and prepares the mind for silence like yoga. My plan was never to become a meditator, but starting a yoga practice laid the best foundation to support the art of sitting still and quieting the mind.
Do you already have a yoga practice?
If so, get started on your meditation practice with these links: