Every time I meditate I fall asleep?
Is that really what’s supposed to happen? The simple answer is no. You need to pay attention to where you’re meditating. I’m drying lavender (which helps sleep) in the room I use for meditating, so either the lavender or I, need to change rooms. If you tend to fall asleep then sit upright on a chair, using your seat-bones as the point of balance, imagine there’s a piece of string from your sternum – the bit in the upper middle of your chest – gently pulling you towards the ceiling. This helps to open up the rib-cage and lets more air into the lungs.
Questions to ask?
What am I feeling as I meditate? I may feel bored or think this is not for me or that it’s being lazy? These are ways the mind tries to prevent us just being with ourselves. Our minds would far rather we were doing stuff, or asleep. Like any muscle in the body, it needs to be trained to spend time quietly with no distractions. Remember too most distractions are just thoughts, not even very important ones and we can just recognise them as thoughts and return to what we’re doing, sitting here, focusing on our breath.
I’ve done all that – I still fall asleep every time I meditate?
Well – it’s quite possible that like most of us you are over-stretched, tired, and what your body needs most at this moment is sleep. If this is during the day and you know that sleep now will mean problems later, set an alarm clock, no more than 45 minutes, put down the mat, cushion and cover yourself with a cosy wrap – sleep.
If you are really exhausted and needing to catch up on lost sleep then just do it. Be kind to yourself, rest your body, understand its need to take time out, don’t beat yourself up because you’re not a super-hero. None of us is.