So every other New Year’s resolution guide has told you to try meditation, but you have practically no idea how to start. Sure enough, the benefits of meditation are far too promising to pass up, but how do you actually start meditating when you don’t know the first thing about it? Starting meditation from scratch can be downright frustrating, but if you follow these carefully laid out steps, your efforts will be rewarding.
Step 1: Identify your intention. You have to figure out, foremost, if meditation is something that you want to do and are willing to commit yourself to. And if your answer is yes, then start committing to it! At the same time, this means eliminating any excuses you can find for not meditating, from being hungry to just being plain lazy.
Step 2: Stay comfortable. Find the balance between being comfortable enough for meditation and being a little too comfortable that you start to fall asleep. The best meditative position would be to sit in a chair, or cross-legged on the floor. At the same time, rest your hands on your knees and keep your tall spine. Whenever you feel like slumping, inhale and roll your shoulders up, then exhale and roll them down a bit.
Step 3: Start with breathing exercises. Once you’ve settled down, close your eyes and start with full yogic breaths. This means inhaling through your nose, and letting the air fill your lungs and course through your body. Observe the air coursing through your body, and don’t allow your mind to wander elsewhere.
Step 4: Observe and give yourself time. Sometimes, you will find yourself wandering off. Just stay calm, and allow your mind to reach that point of equilibrium. More importantly, spend your time observing and not judging. Judgment is attaching meaning, constantly asking the why, how, and where. On the other hand, observing is simply letting things be and using your senses to understand what’s happening around you.
Step 5: Start small. The key to meditation is constant practice. At the start, commitment was mentioned as an important factor. To wrap up the beginner’s steps, you should likewise start small: spending five minutes a day for meditation is enough, until you slowly increase your time allotment to 10 minutes when you’re ready, and so on until you’re comfortable with the time you spend meditating.