Self care No. 1 : calm down

In turbulent times some of us are without structure and maybe even alone or overloaded by new responsibilities and too much work. We need to find a way of calming down and creating a reset in our mind every day, if possible, by ourself.
At the Original F.X. Mayr at Wörthersee we met with the instrumental pedagogue, Nica Schuemie, who is a meditation teacher and head of her own meditation practice. We asked her on how to do it and integrate it in our everyday life.

IRMA: How did you started meditation and what was your initial decision to open an energetic/ holistic practice ?
NICA SCHUEMIE: My first experiences with meditation was at the age of 22. My life was not that easy at that time. I had a lot of stress in my studies and was a single mother too. Out of inner need, I attended a course on mindfulness, that was 30 years ago. The effect of meditation and mindfulness towards myself and the world immediately fascinated me. I felt more balanced again and was able to experience my everyday life more positively and regained confidence in my abilities.

IRMA: Initially you worked as a musician teacher and from there you opened your own meditation practice.
NICA SCHUEMIE: I started my practice for „Human and Klangenergetik“ while working as a teacher. The idea of my own meditation center didn’t actually occur to me; I was led there by chance, through my work as a musician, my work with the singing bowls and the energetic balances. I began to combine the meditative sounds of the singing bowls with guided meditations. So, another field of work of weekly meditation offers and retreats developed. The idea of my own meditation center came more and more to the foreground.

IRMA: In times like today most of us feel disoriented, can meditation help you to get focused. If so how?
NICA SCHUEMIE: Yes, especially in these challenging times, meditation can be supportive and extremely helpful. Meditation in its essence means focusing your mind on the present moment. So one of the simplest and most effective meditations is to focus your
attention on your own breath. You observe your breath and feel how it flows through your body as if by itself. And let your thoughts move
on with each breath. Then perceive your breath again.

A few effects of breathing meditation:
-You feel more relaxed.
-Your breathing rhythm becomes slower and deeper.
-You have more energy.
-Your perception and mindfulness will be refined.
– You feel better and more balanced

IRMA: When you start to mediate what is your personal advise to get the most out of it ?
NICA SCHUEMIE: The most important tip for beginners is that it’s not about not having thoughts. Trying not to think actually causes more thoughts. Restlessness arises and the practitioner quickly feels frustrated and exhausted. Instead, choose a form of meditation that you are comfortable with.
From my experience I can say that guided meditations are very suitable for beginners. I recommend rather short meditation sessions at the beginning. Good meditation music, such as the magical sounds of the singing bowls, calm the mind and can thus enable easy access to meditation. And last but not least: Don’t go into meditation with too much seriousness. Take a researcher standpoint. Full of openness and curiosity about what is going on.

IRMA: People who are very energetic find it hard to meditate, is there a tip for beginners?
NICA SCHUEMIE: Active meditation, such as the walking meditation, is very suitable for these people. Walking meditation can be practiced in different variations. One of my favorite walking meditations is to take a walk in nature and consciously direct your attention to the outside. To perceive nature as if you were seeing it for the first time. With silent astonishment and curiosity.
But also the guided meditations in combination with the singing bowls have a very calming effect on the nervous system. Especially for people who are very tense and stressed.

IRMA: Could an alternative be a moving meditation, if so which one do you suggest?
NICA SCHUEMIE: Yes exactly.In addition to walking meditation, there are also meditative running and dance meditations. The most known active meditations are yoga and tai chi.

IRMA: Which apps do you recommend at the moment?
NICA SCHUEMIE: Oh, I don’t use any meditation apps myself, as I like to meditate with my own singing bowls. But, I am actually working on bringing my own online meditation videos into an app.
You can find more about it at my website . And here you can listen to my guided morning meditation here.

IRMA: What is your recommendation when patients are in a difficult and worrying situation, is there a special practice?
NICA SCHUEMIE: Sometimes it may happen that emotional issues surface that we might or
might not have been aware of. I know that this can feel quite
challenging and it could be a wonderful opportunity to get some support with this. In the Original F.X. Mayr hotel we have a team of doctors and a cure coach who are always there to take care of the guests.
When meditating, what you can do yourself is to gently focus your attention on the exhalation. Make sure you exhale longer than you inhale. Breathing out longer and slower allows the system to calm down more easily. Saying that it is okay to feel this way now can also be very helpful.