The benefits of meditation practices are being talked about more in the science and medical communities and, thankfully, becoming more mainstream. We all know that meditation can benefit us in more ways than one. . .but how do you actually meditate?! This page includes 3 beginner meditation tips that are appropriate for all levels and backgrounds.
Some of us might feel like our mind is a wild animal that can not be tamed. I’m sure you have even wondered, is it really even possible to silence the mind? Good news, you don’t have to! Meditation is for EVERYONE! It can be done anywhere and there are 1000’s of strategies to receive the benefits. Sometimes meditation might mean quieting the mind, but sometimes it might also mean that we are getting still to work through our thoughts, or to use this self inquiry time to set intentions and visions for ourselves. Mediation can be scary, and sometimes extremely difficult, but always rewarding. Meditation can reduce stress, slow down the aging process, and increase happiness, just to name a few.
Below are 3 beginner tips for those interested in starting a mediation practice
- Breathe: Focusing on your breath can be an easier and quicker way to get yourself centered. Start by noticing your natural breath and then see what happens when you start to slowly and deeply control your breath. Try breathing in through your nose and then slowly out through your mouth a few times. Then, continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. There might be physical or energetic sensations that arise, notice them and then come back to your breath. If the mind continues to run wild, try repeating the following mantra internally as you breathe: “I inhale peace, I exhale relaxation”.
- Observe rather than judge: It’s easy to judge your ‘abilities’ while trying to meditate. Relax…there is no right or wrong way to mediate. Maybe you are seated, maybe you are laying down, or maybe you are even taking a quiet walk. Remind yourself that there are no set rules to meditation. Give yourself permission to watch your self and experience from a neutral witnessing mind. Notice, observe, and witness, rather than judge. If judgements do arise, try replacing them with neutral observations or positive self communication.
- Use a timer: Meditation does not have to be an hour long process to be beneficial. Some scientific research even suggests that 5 – 10 minutes per day is more beneficial than longer meditations every now and then. Use a timer that will softly chime at the end of your session so that you’re not left wondering. Also, this way you can set the timer for your desired and allowable time, and then you can focus on your meditation rather than time.
Give yourself credit for being brave enough to try mediation! The beginning may seem frightening, but the benefits are just a few minutes away.
To learn more about meditation try any of the Yoga Nidra classes at Village Yoga.