How do you start your morning or end your day? Do you grab your phone straight away or do you take a moment to pause and be still before jumping into the day or into bed? For Codie-Leigh, the day begins and ends with a meditation, allowing herself to check in with herself, for herself. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, meditation is a wonderful way to wind down your body and mind before your head hits the pillow. Offering a whole host of benefits, meditation can improve our emotional well being (allowing us to tackle issues such as stress and anxiety), increase our attention span and of course, improves sleep!
As someone who personally benefits from evening meditations (especially Codie's Wednesday evening guided meditations), I am delighted to be able to ask my favourite meditation teacher some questions about her journey towards meditation, what it gives her and why she loves sharing her passion with others.
Read on to learn more about Codie-Leigh and if you fancy trying a 10 day meditation challenge then head to her page here to sign up
Hello Codie-Leigh, thank you so much for taking this time to share with us your knowledge and experience of meditation. These past few months have been extremely challenging for so many people, how have you been?
Hey Charlotte, firstly thank you so much for extending an invitation to me.
Ahh, I know. It has been some of the most difficult months for so many. I, like many others, have definitely felt the ups and downs of these times, but honestly, it has also been extremely transformational.
I agree, it seems it’s been a big time for reflection.
Absolutely, I’ve never lived my Yoga and Meditation as much as I have this past year, and for that I am super grateful.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got into mediation in the first place?
Well, I got into it as I worked at a Yoga studio for 3-4 years. During that time, I was surrounded by many people who were practicing Meditation. At that time, I dipped in and out and had a great interest in it, but it didn’t really stick.
What do you personally gain from meditation?
Oh gosh, I mean, where to start… so many things. It’s a moment or two of space in the day, a reminder to pause, a reminder to be present. It also just ripples out into my life and I love that. Both Yoga and Meditation off the mat have been the best things to come from it, the way I perceive the world and show up in each moment. An ongoing journey for sure.
What is it about this reminder to be present that makes you so passionate about sharing the power of meditation with others?
I truly believe that being present in our lives is one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves. Without trying to be too cheesy or cliché, it really does make a huge difference to everything. You know those moments, when you see the sunset or the moon and it just stops you in your tracks, makes you pause and breathe and go “wow”. Well, that. There is nothing more incredible than that, in my opinion. In addition to that, the amount of people who contact me after Meditation, saying that it is calming them, they feel less stressed or they are sleeping well… as well as the community aspect.
What is your favourite part about leading guided meditations?
It’s hard to choose, but seeing the ripples in people's lives, seeing the benefits unfold in their world and also the community that it creates. We have a beautiful growing community and that check in with each other is invaluable, not only in life, but especially in these times.
Do you practice meditation daily?
Almost! I practice Meditation between 5-7 days of the week. Although recently, I have brought in morning Meditation too, which I am loving.
Do you have a preferred time of day to meditate and if so why?
Well, I get different things from different times of day. The mornings are a beautiful way to begin the day ahead. It’s nice to start, with you, for you. Before the day begins with notifications on our phone, social media, jobs, children and so on.
The evenings, however, are more of a decompression, an unwind, a stop gap between the working day and down time. That stillness after being active is quite special.
For those who are hesitant to try meditation or say that they aren’t able to sit still for a meditation what advice would you give?
Time… give it time. I used to struggle with it a lot, I thought that you would sit there with zero thoughts and that it would be peaceful instantly. It’s not! So, don’t worry, and continue - it gets easier. Also, find a teacher or a community, then you’ll see that you are not alone in it.
If someone was looking to try and incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their life but doesn’t know how to begin would you have any good starting locations?
I mean, it completely depends. Right now, during these times, online. Insight timer is a great free app, YouTube has various Meditations, and many teachers have live online offerings, myself included. Try different things and see what works for you!
Personally, I find doing meditation breath work before bed, or a nap, really helps me to settle down for a rest. Have you ever noticed how your meditation impacts your sleep?
Honestly, I have always slept quite well. I don’t want to sit here and pretend it did wonders for me; I want to be honest with you. However, many people that come to my sessions and that I have met along the way, have said Meditation really helps them with that and I can totally see why.
Any plans for the future?
So many! I have a weekly Meditation class which I teach every Wednesday 8pm-8.30pm, U.K. time. I also have a course starting on Monday 22nd February – Wednesday 3rd March, called ‘How to Start a Meditation Practice’. It's for both complete newbies, people who have dipped in and out and people who would like to practice more regularly, as a part of their week.
I also have weekly Yoga classes and I have a breathing class coming very soon. I’m letting it unfold naturally, which is really nice, and I am loving seeing the community grow. I’d love to see some of you there. If you have any questions, you can find me on Instagram at @codieleighyoga and I am always happy to help.
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