Meditation – A Beginner How-To Guide
One of the biggest trends out there right now is meditation and mindfulness!
These words get thrown around like confetti, and you may wonder what the big deal is. Perhaps you want to try meditation but don’t know where to start!
“Did I do the laundry?” “Are those papers filled out at work?” “I wonder what he’s doing right
These thoughts are totally normal and happen to everyone!
A common misconception about meditation is that it must be free of thought and done in silence, in a so-called comfortable seated position.
For many people, the seated position just isn’t comfortable-and I speak from experience! When I
first started meditating my back would throb as I forced myself to sit with proper posture and
attempt to quiet my mind.
I always left my meditation sessions feeling frustrated, like a failure, and nowhere near calmer!
So, what changed? My perspective. As a yoga teacher, meditation and mindfulness coach, I have learned and tried many ways of meditating!
What I have learned is that it is a different process for every single person. You may need to do a workout before being able to meditate as you have a lot of energy moving in your body. You may need to lie down comfortably and have silence, only listening to the sound of your breathing. You may even need to listen to a repetitive mantra and sit in a chair…
The HOW TO of meditation is really HOW TO relax your body, mind and soul-and this all depends on what works best for YOU.
Thoughts are going to come through the mind because humans are designed to think!
A thoughtless mind is not a human mind…therefore, when in meditation, one practices the witnessing of thoughts. This means that you allow the thoughts to come in, witness them, and release them with no attachment.
For instance, “I can’t believe I forgot to bring that container today” could be looked at with nonjudgement, a smile and an invitation to bring the focus back on your breath.
The goal of meditation is to pause the stream of thought and continually bring awareness back to the present moment. Focusing on the breath or a sound can help you come back to the moment of NOW.
There are many other meditation techniques and tricks that you can learn by participating in yoga classes, exercise regiments and even dancing! The mindfulness that you bring to any focused activity is the same mindfulness that you bring to your meditation!
Here’s an exercise you can try today for your own simple 5 minute meditation
Body Scan Meditation
Sit, lie down, stand, curl up, whatever feels best!
Begin to focus on your breath and notice the inhale and exhale flowing through the body. As you focus on your breath, start to notice your feet, beginning with each toe. Then travel up the leg, noticing how that feels, and continuing up through your stomach, back, arms, hands…and finally coming to your chest and head, making sure to relax all your neck and facial muscles as you breathe.
Allowing yourself the space to notice any thoughts that come through and simply watch them continue on, focusing back on your body and the parts that you are bringing awareness to.
Don’t feel bad if you fall asleep…that means you did something right!