That Time I Sobbed While Meditating

I’ve flirted with the idea of meditation for quite some time (what is meditation you ask? read here). In December 2015, I went to a yoga and meditation retreat where five minutes into every 30 minute-session my legs ached from sitting still – we did that twice a day for five days, mind you. A while back, I read an article about seven ways to happiness (see previous post) which states that you should meditate for two minutes every day. I tried that for like…2 days…then I gave up. At one point, I downloaded the Headspace app. Fell asleep every time…because I did it before bed. *insert eye roll emoji here*

I have been lucky enough to have some amazing “out of body” experiences, too (literally and figuratively). When I first started taking yoga classes in college, I’d lay in savasana (that relaxing pose at the end of every class) and could SEE MYSELF. No freakin’ joke. I’d be above myself looking AT myself. (And, no, I wasn’t dead, in purgatory, or in seven minutes in heaven.) Also, almost every time I go to my acupuncturist, I can zone out in mediation with needles stuck out of my head, hands, legs, and feet for a good 20-30 minutes.

But this weekend provided me the most INSANE meditation I’ve ever experienced. I went to a yoga festival for a couple of days and took just about every meditation breakout you could take with little to no results (unless a cat nap or two counts?!) until the big kahuna: Transformational Breath.  I’d never heard of the practice, but was somehow drawn to it. The instructor explained that we’d be breathing in and out through our mouths (very un-yoga like). While doing this for 45 minutes, we may be compelled to “laugh uncontrollably, cry, yell, om, hum, buzz like a bee, or move about” she said. Ex-squeeze me?! Hmm I was like, yea, I’m not gonna do that. I’m not that weird.

And then, I was THAT weird. I breathed the way she said, through my mouth, eyes closed, lying down. About halfway through my fellow meditators started yelling, laughing SO loud, om-ing. Then there’s me: CRYING LIKE A BABY. No jokes. I had no control over my body. I was sobbing, my legs were jerking, and I had flashes of this one place I’d been on a date. I couldn’t move my arms. The latter has happened to me before, believe it or not, when I’ve meditated for longer than 5 minutes. My arms will be almost magnetized to my body or the floor, but this was beyond anything I’d experienced – my arms felt like 50 pounds each, though I had no inclination to want to move them at all.

Y’all it was nuts. It took three teachers to calm me down. One came and placed his hands on my head and told me to start buzzing on every exhale. Inhale through mouth, buzz like bee. Inhale through mouth, buzz like bee. The jerky legs stopped and I cooled off a bit. He stayed for a few more minutes ’til I chilled. All the while, I’m still breathing and meditating so damn hard. Eventually, all of us crazy yogis were calmed down and the session was over.

What the eff just happened?! I wondered. I drove home in complete silence. I still don’t really understand it, but I did take it as a sign that the universe wanted me to know something. I’m continuing to piece together what Mrs. U wanted, but it did give me some resolve to wake up early and meditate. I’ve done it for two days in a row and my alarm is set for tomorrow. My plan is to do sun salutations for my 8-minute favorite yogi song followed by an increasing number of minutes of silent meditation. So far, it’s been feeling good and I’ve been feeling awesome all day.

So, there ya have it, folks. People who meditate are just as strange as you thought they were. But, like, the good kind of strange. Ya know, the enlightened kind.

My Buddhas keep me company during meditation

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