For yoga and meditation teacher Eleonora Ramsby Herrera, meditation is a sacred practice. It's a process without a means to an end. Meditation is there to remind you that you are perfect as you are. In this interview she shares her thoughts on meditation and how it can support you in life.
You are human and perfect
Eleonora Ramsby Herrera has taught yoga since 2008. She is developing and running teacher trainings in London, Stockholm and Lisbon and has also worked with trauma-adapted yoga. Eleonoras’ yoga classes are multi-dimensional and contemporary in nature. Movement, breath, touch, sound and poetry weaved together into a well-rounded embodied experience. We asked her some questions on meditation – and she gives her best advice on how to start meditating. Come join!
1. How did you start meditating?
I was introduced to meditation as a child through my parents. My mom works in holistic therapy and one of the things she does is to teach meditation. I would participate in her meditation retreats and she would also introduce me to CD´s with guided meditations that I listened to before going to sleep as a child.
For me, meditation is a sacred practice and there are many forms of sacred practices, religion being one of them. I attended both Catholic kindergarten and Sunday school growing up. Now, I was not their ideal Catholic student, far from it, nor do I consider myself religious and I don’t think you have to be to do any form of meditation, but I do consider myself to have a spiritual practice. Thanks to the Catholic practices, rituals became an important part of growing up. My father and I would pray and contemplate on the divine as part of our everyday life, and that too is a form of meditation to me. So, these early childhood years shaped my personal and professional practice that I have today.
Later on, as I had just begun teaching yoga in 2008, I came across Michael Stone’s book “The Inner Tradition of Yoga” which left a permanent imprint on my consciousness. I keep returning to his book, and I also include it as mandatory reading in all my teacher training courses. I was lucky to formally train for Michael in 2016 at Yogacampus in London, and that further contributed to the depth and breadth of what my practice consists of today.
2. How has meditation affected your life?
Meditation humbles me and helps me remember that I am human with all the nuances that entail. In moments when I feel disconnected, the practice is there to bring me home to myself. It reminds me that everything is a process and it’s important to let those processes take the time they need to take.
3. How can meditation be supportive when life feels hard?
Meditation is not like a magic wand that take all our troubles away. However, it can help us broaden our perspectives and thereby change how we approach life’s challenges. Meditation can give us the space to sit with our discomfort and to stop fighting or fixing it, and instead, we can gently face our present moment with acceptance. Like a good friend, meditation provides us with a space to be listened to. As we sit with whatever emotional turmoil that we may be faced with in that moment, we give ourselves permission to be as we are. This can in turn help to ease any pressure we might put on ourselves and thereby cultivate more compassion and acceptance into our lives.
4. Your best advice on how to start meditating?
Find a meditation method that works for you, whether it is guided or not. Feel free to try out a few practices and teachers before finding a method that resonates with you! There is not one way of doing it, so keep an open mind.
Locate a place in your home that you devote to your meditation practice. Perhaps keep a candle and a photo of someone you care for next to your seat. Lighting the candle can become part of your own sacred ritual and the photo can remind you to feel love.
Keep a steady yet relaxed seated posture, use the props needed to feel comfortable. You do not need to endure too much physical discomfort and if it becomes a distraction then mindfully change your seated position to feel more at ease.
Meditation is a process without a means to an end. You are perfect just as you are, meditation is just there to remind you of that.
- Exploring the breath – part 1, by Eleonora Ramsby Herrera.
- Managing hardship through connection, by Eleonora Ramsby Herrera.
- What is my path cultivating? by Luke Bache.
Photo: Magnus Keijser