If you haven’t been meditating up until now, it’s time to get started. There are so many benefits that you can reap from meditation. You’ll come away feeling calmer and more centered. It will reduce your stress levels and foster self-awareness. It will help you clear your mind and concentrate. This all happens when you sharpen your skills at being mindful and present.
When you try anything new, be it meditation, Zumba, or knitting, it’s common to feel intimidated and unsure of yourself. After all, if you haven’t given something a shot, how do you know you will be into it. How do you know you have the skills to do it. How do you know that it’s really something you want to stick with. We waste a lot of time procrastinating and making up our minds. We should spend some of that time figuring out how to go about doing it instead. Instead of getting caught up and focused on the how to, jump right in and get yourself started. You’ll make important adjustments along the way. “How” is sometimes the biggest obstacle to our success. There are many methods and paths to follow. Don’t spend too much time learning about the details of meditation before giving it a basic try. Go sit in a quiet place for a few moments and relax.
Learning how to meditate takes time and commitment. Even people who have been meditating for many years still manage to learn something new. They continually add and practicing new techniques. Many practice several methods combined. We use the verb “practice” in meditation because that is exactly what it is. We’re essentially practicing our skills and ability to pay attention. We are practicing relinquishing judgment and feeling a sense of calm and focus our minds. It is encouraged to incorporate meditation into your daily routine even before learning all there is to know about it. If you keep on waiting you’ll never actually get started. Jump in and learn as you go.
For the beginners out there, meditation is a beautiful practice. There are so many different styles to choose from. The best kind of meditation is the one that speaks to you best. Don’t let anyone tell you that the kind of meditation you practice is wrong or inferior. If you are just starting out on your meditation journey, experiment with a few different styles. See for yourself which ones you would like to practice. We encourage you to attend a guided meditation group or class. You will get a better understanding of the meditative experience.
With a guide leading you through your meditation you get the structure and education. You’ll learn new techniques and have others to support your practice. Classes and groups also offer the added benefit of accountability. It’s in your schedule and others are expecting you to be there. It’s a great idea for developing self-discipline. You’ll be able to talk to others and find out what they are experiencing. If you aren’t up for joining a group, you can listen to an online guided meditation. There are online resources for guided meditations, meditation music, and descriptions of meditation techniques. You will still be getting many of the same perks. You will be guided through breathing, mind control, centering and energy flow.
With openness and commitment, your meditation journey will be very exciting. You will explore the vastness of your mind and its ability to be aware and mindful of the present. The most popular forms of meditation with beginners are breathing meditations or mantra meditations. Start with deciding on a length of time that you’ll meditate. Usually, 2-5 minutes a day is a perfect length for beginners, and you can add onto this time each week. Commit to a specific time each day. Many find first thing in the morning is best. But everyone’s body clock is different and everyone’s schedule is different. Choose a time of day that you can stick with. Try different options. Different times of day have different energies, discover which time of day is best for you. The idea is to start a daily routine that you will be able to continue with.
Meditation is about connecting mind and body. Although most styles of meditation do not demand much exercise they are still physically taxing. Having comfortable seating where your body is in correct alignment is essential. Sit in a comfortable position, on the floor with your legs crossed. If that seems a bit strange to you, you can begin by sitting on a chair or a couch or the edge of your bed. Make sure that your spine is straight and that your weight is equally distributed. Before you begin make sure you feel comfortable. As you sit for extended periods of time discomfort becomes greater. Once your body is ready, begin with a deep inhale through the nose for a count of 6. Exhale through the mouth for a count of 8. Breathing is so automatic we are rarely mindful of it. Now is the time to focus and become aware of your physical presence and life force.
Meditation allows you the quiet space to get in touch with yourself. Start off by asking yourself how you feel, and listen to the answers. Sit with each emotion for just a few seconds. Whether you feel anger, stress, fear or contentment allow yourself to recognize it. Dont’s judge just feel and observe. Once you have considered it for a moment, let it go. Release it in an exhale. Now that you feel centered start another inhale. Many practice with a breath count of 10. You should certainly try to work your way up to that. If that is a strain, or if you have health issues, try just counting inhale and exhale breaths. Each time you inhale, count, and each time you exhale, count. Counting breaths helps you to concentrate.
It may sound simple, but your mind will wander. If you catch yourself thinking about something else, acknowledge the thought and let it go. Don’t dwell on it or judge it. Immediately start your count again from the number one. When you are done meditating, don’t just jump up and go back to your activities. Take an extra few moments to sit with your eyes closed and enjoy the experience of being in the moment. Well done, you just got started on your meditation journey, you’re in for a real treat!