Let’s face it: We’re all kind of stressed out. Whether it’s from the upcoming holidays or current events or even from your 9-5 job, stress is a fact of everyday life. That’s not necessarily the concern. That comes when we let all of this stress build up and we don’t do anything about it. Maybe we should do something about it, perhaps even crochet as meditation. Unresolved stress can cause anything from depression to heart attacks. It can wreak havoc on our immune system and make us more susceptible to colds, flu, and other illnesses.
We need to take better care of ourselves. We know that. How do we do that?
One way is through mediation. If you’re like me, when you think about meditation, you have visions of sitting on the floor, cross-legged, with your eyes closed. After less than a minute, your mind wanders, your nose itches, your dog comes in and jumps in your lap, or your children need attention. Maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe you don’t feel like you know how to meditate.
In her book Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg talks about benefits of meditation. She also mentions different types, including a moving meditation. When she talks about moving, she’s usually talking about walking. But you can incorporate movement in other ways, too
Benefits of Meditation
Before we get into that, let’s take a look at some of the more official benefits of mediation. An article from the Mayo Clinic says that meditation is good for gaining a new perspective on a situation. It can give you a sense of calm, relieve stress, help reduce anxiety and depression, and even alleviate some physical symptoms, including tension in your upper back, neck, and shoulders. It can also help improve your imagination and creativity.
One thing about it is that the benefits of meditation can last beyond your session.
Most forms of meditation do require some type of supplies, even if that supply is just a place to sit. What do you need to do to use crochet as meditation?
- Crochet hook
- A repetitive pattern
- A comfortable place to sit
This is not the time to do a complicated pattern. You want something that is repetitive and easy to memorize. The yarn should be something you find pleasing to work with. Use your favorite crochet hook, one that is comfortable for you to use.
You can sit on the floor, on the couch, at the kitchen table, at your desk, or in your favorite chair. Whichever place is more comfortable for you is where you should sit.
How to Do It
Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
Start working on your pattern. Pay attention to the movement of your hook and the way the yarn feels sliding through your fingers. Don’t worry about it if your mind wanders. Just bring it back to the task at hand.
Feel your shoulders slowly relax and come down from around your ears. (Am I the only one who does that? Okay, then.) Just pay attention to what you’re doing. Let the dogs come and go. Don’t get involved in anything that requires a lot of counting. You can do this for as long as you want.
When You’re Done
If you need to set a timer before you get started, then do that. When your timer goes off, or at the end of your session, finish the stitch you’re currently working on and set your crochet aside. (Ideally, place it in a project bag so it won’t be left out for little hands to pull out stitches if it’s something you want to keep.)
If you do this regularly, you will begin to see benefits as though you were having a regular meditation practice. Because you are. You are using crochet as a tool to help you into a meditative space. At some point, you might want to look into a more traditional meditation practice. However, there is nothing wrong with continuing to use crochet as your method of meditation.
This is something I have done for quite a while. I find it very helpful in times I’m stressed out, worried about something or someone, or otherwise feeling down. It is my hope that you will be able to receive a similar benefit from it.
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Shambhala Press, Anniversary Edition. 2016.