Take 5 with Yoga Teacher Megan Ridge Morris
Welcome to the Take 5 series, where we take five minutes and ask Lehigh Valley professionals and personalities five questions.
Name: Megan Ridge Morris
How I Pay the Bills: Professional Yoga Teacher & Birth Doula
Current Favorite Snack: Banana with almond butter
Last Thing that Made Me Smile: My 21-month-old son proclaiming, “Yeah!”
Song That’s Stuck in My Head: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
1. What are the immediate benefits of meditation?
Everyone experiences meditation differently, so I can only speak for myself. My mind feels less scattered, more focused and clear. Meditation has a great way of reminding me of what’s most important in my life and makes it easier for me to express my gratitude. Overall, I feel more calm, less reactive and closer to the true essence of who I am.
2. What are the long-term benefits of meditation?
Sustaining those immediate benefits for longer periods of time. The ability to face challenging situations in life with greater ease. Meditation has helped me develop discipline, which has improved many areas of my life. I feel a greater sense of connection to all beings.
3. I can’t sit still, I can’t relax, I can’t keep my eyes closed, I can’t get my brain to calm down, I don’t have time—these are all things that commonly keep people from trying to meditate. What advice do you have?
Stop saying “I can’t.” Of course you can’t with that attitude! There are so many different ways to meditate. You can meditate lying down, sitting against a wall, sitting on props, sitting on a chair, in a restorative yoga pose, etc. If you’re trying to create a lasting habit, best to start where you’re at without any lofty expectations of how you should do it or how it should go— the less rules, the better! Lie in bed and set your timer for one minute if that is all that seems doable right now. Try a walking meditation if sitting still feels impossible. Try a guided meditation. Also, I like to keep in mind that I always have time for the things I make a priority in my life. So if nurturing a meditation practice is truly important to you, you’ll find the time. (Follow along with her free audio meditation here.)
4. When you feel yourself feeling stressed out or getting worked up, how do you calm yourself down?
Deep breaths. Stop what I’m doing (if possible) or even walk away from the situation for a few minutes to gain some clarity or perspective. If I have time, yoga, meditation and walking in nature also helps.
5. Okay, but sometimes you just need a drink. What’s your favorite adult beverage?
A gin and tonic!