"I knew I wasn't in the greatest shape," said Justin Toler of Nashville, Tennessee, "but meditation is just sitting there. I thought I could handle that okay."
Unfortunately, that proved not to be the case. According to Toler, he arrived at Breathe East Meditation Center eager to participate in the guided Vipassana meditation, which he was advised would involve focusing on his breath for 20 minutes.
"Given the state of my cardio, I intentionally wanted to keep it to twenty minutes or less," said Toler, who added that he'd likewise made certain that the so-called meditation session did not involve yoga of any sort. "People tell me yoga can kick your ass. I thought it was playing it safe."
Through sheer force of will, he managed to remain still, if not calm, until the Tibetan singing bowl rang out, signaling the end of the 20-minute session. But then, not realizing his left foot had fallen asleep, he attempted to jump to his feet, only to tumble to the ground, twisting his ankle in the process.
"It's super swollen," said Toler, who's been icing and elevating his injured ankle for the past several days but is still experiencing hampered mobility. "If I did any sort of physical activity, I'd have had to take a few days off. But, fortunately, it hasn't cramped my style too much."
Toler says that he now has a newfound appreciation for the challenges of mindfulness. "I knew it would be mentally challenging, but I didn't realize it would be so physically demanding. Lesson learned."