Meditation is wonderful, all you need is to create a habit that works for you. If you never meditated before, even better. Beginners can actually be at an advantage. If you don’t have any previous experience, your approach will be free from judgement and expectation. You can simply allow yourself to be in moment as it unfolds.
The importance of you
The first step for meditation is to understand the benefits that this practice brings into your life. The idea of taking time out for yourself may sound luxurious or selfish, but taking a mere 15 minutes a day for yourself will have huge repercussions. It changes how you’ll interact with everyone around you and more importantly how you feel about yourself. Becoming aware of how important YOU are will change your perspective massively. How does that feel?
Timing is everything
The best time for meditation is said to be the morning, as your mind is fresh and it helps you start the day in calmly. However, if you’re not a morning person, this may not be the best time for you. Be brave and experiment. Maybe at lunchtime for a midday escape. Or try the evening when you need to let go of all the energy accumulated over the day. Play and discover what works best for you.
Sit comfortably with no distractions
Making sure you’re comfortable and in an intimate place where you cannot get distracted is crucial. Got to make the most of that limited time to yourself. You could buy a meditation cushion or blanket, but it’s equally okay to sit on a chair or yoga mat. Make sure your phone is on silent mode so no one will disturb you. You can set up a certain time for your meditation, say 10 or 15 minutes, and put a gentle alarm on to bring you back from your exercise.
Does Lotus posture matter?
Comfort is key! If you sit on the floor you can sit with crossed legs, half lotus or full lotus depending on your mobility. If you sit on the chair make sure your feet touch the ground fully. The key when sitting is to feel comfortable. If you don’t, gently alter your position until you feel relaxed.
The 3 golden rules of meditation
As you are now sitting in a comfortable posture you are ready to start your meditation. Keep in mind the three golden rules of meditation
- Non-judgement - your meditation is what it is. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, just follow the flow.
- Be in the present moment - forget about the past and don’t worry about the future. Meditation is happening here and now.
- Be an observer - it is normal that thoughts come and go, you may want to stop them. It’s not necessary. Just observe your thoughts as if watching a film. Do not make the thoughts personal to you and don’t overthink them.
Start with the breath
Once sitting in your comfortable posture, close your eyes. Take a long deep breath through the nose and then fully exhale through the mouth. As you exhale let go of everything that makes you feel heavy and worried.
Gently breathe in and out, taking time to feel your whole body relaxed. Start silently counting your breath. Once you reached the number ten start counting again. If you notice your thoughts start counting again from one.
Keep in mind that having thoughts is completely normal. We cannot stop our thoughts. If your mind gets distracted focus again on your breath. Stay in that place as long as you can. When you feel ready open your eyes and come back into the present moment.
Find your flow
You are unique and so is your meditation practice. Experience what best works for you. You may find that you actually don’t need to count your breaths but can just feel the flow. You may find helpful to play soft music in the background, or to burn incense to help you relax.
Journal & see the growth
Like all journey’s we often don’t realise the progress until the end. Try jot a few notes down as you go you’ll be encouraged much quicker. Observe how felt before meditation. Compare this to afterwards. Try recall how you felt during the practice. What thoughts popped into your head. What helped you relax. What caused you discomfort. Overtime you’ll notice the changes. Remember your meditation practice is your own personal journey.
Now you have the basics in place to help you get into meditation. All you need to do is to keep practicing. Creating a new habit always takes time, but there’s nothing more rewarding than feeling the benefit of creating a more peaceful and mindful you.