Is Meditation having a moment?
Joined today by Nora Logan, writer, producer, breathwork and meditation extraordinaire.
Nora, firstly, how are you?
Thanks for having me, Cat! I'm doing well, considering how mad the world is right now, how long we have all been in isolation and how difficult the news is to comprehend and digest. I have been doing a lot of movement - both cardio and yoga - in addition to my daily meditation practice which is doing wonders for my mental health.
Glad to hear you are coping well all things considering. I think a lot of us are turning to movement in search for that release. For those of us that don't know, could you explain the difference between meditation and breathwork, and the benefits of each? Breathwork is a three-part pranayama, which is done lying down. It is a powerful active meditation technique, extremely effective for connecting you to your emotions, increasing creativity, cultivating intuition and feeling into the heart. The technique I teach is used to safely release buried emotional energy, build your connection to the self and bring clarity of mind. This breathwork helps to move stagnant energy and clean out the nervous system of stuck emotions. It's a meditation, but it’s active – meaning you’re working more physically during it than you would in seated meditation. Breathwork cuts right into the heart of where we need to heal and helps us to light up where it may have felt dark or heavy. It can help us to use our voices where we may have previously been quiet. Seated meditation is much subtler in its effects, and the nectar in the practice comes after sustained practice. I teach somatic meditation using mantra and breath from a yogic tradition called Kashmir Shaivism. Some are saying that it might be very difficult to pick up a meditation practice right now, but I think there is actually great opportunity to explore how deep we can go with our seated meditation practice during this moment of global stillness.
Meditation is funny like that - it is such a simple practice yet so many can't seem to bring themselves to try it, even for 5 minutes! I think the need for it right now as you say can bring a huge amount of benefit. With that being said, what are you seeing in meditation and breathwork since the whole world went into lockdown?
Definitely an uptick. I'm noticing a lot of people reach out for tools to settle them and to help them feel more in their body. Both somatic meditation and breathwork helps to bring us back into our bodies if there is a tendency to disassociate. And to become more embodied and present. Some of us are stuck at home with our families and kids, some of us still have to go into work each day and some of us are unwell. As a result, there are huge amounts of anxiety being churned up and I think these tools are an invaluable resource to reach for at this time, and that's being reflected in what people are asking for. At the moment, pent-up energy really needs to be moved, in part because of an unprecedented amount of fear in the ether about the state of our world. I'm very grateful to be able to work with people to help move some of that energy out.
Definitely! I think a lot of people who (luckily for them!) never experienced anxiety before are now starting to realize what this new feeling is, and how active you need to be about confronting it. As a wellness professional, if you don't mind me asking - how are you coping from a business perspective? Are you finding that clients are expecting free classes? and similarly, are you feeling pressure to provide free services? I'm happy to share! I think the more we talk about how to assess a fair energetic exchange for wellness professionals, the better. Honestly, I'm seeing a 50/50 split. Some clients are expecting free content and slashed fees, and some people are more willing to pay for my services than before the pandemic. Not only because they see the value in it, but because they really need practices to help them ground and discharge stagnant energy. A few weeks ago I felt very pressured to offer free services and only donation-based classes and private sessions, but I have now started to get into a rhythm with what feels comfortable to me in the online-only format. I use Instagram live as a vehicle to offer free mini-meditations twice a week and do fee-based classes and privates on Zoom. That balance makes me feel good about being able to use this opportunity to be of service for those struggling, but also maintaining respect for what I have to offer as a practitioner. That said, I will not turn away anyone in need if they do not have the means to pay, and I am offering discounts for those struggling. Navigating the space right now of whether or not to offer free services is extremely challenging and one we are all facing right now in the industry. Thank you Nora so much for your time!
You can find out more about Nora at www.noraelogan.com and contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an actually lifechanging breathwork session! She has intro offers for first-timers so make sure to reach out.