The idea of meditating can be intimidating or even boring, but after further exploration, you may just find great relief and contentment through this practice. Meditating is a way to quiet the mind, broaden your awareness and ultimately connect more deeply with yourself. Here are some things to consider when first beginning.
Pick a time during the day that will support your practice whether it be early morning, evening or even during your lunch break. Also, determine how long you would like to meditate- perhaps using a meditation disk or an app with a gentle alarm. Experiment with these choices to find what works best for you and your practice- they can help support the habit of meditating.
Be sure to choose an environment that fosters peace in your practice. Perhaps a spacious room, in your bed or even outside.
Consider using your yoga mat, a cushion or even a block. Try to accommodate your physical body as much as possible so it is easier to relax and focus on present moment-to-moment awareness.
Similar to prop choice, find a position comfortable enough to be in for an extended period of time. Traditionally this is seated, but lying down is okay too. This is a journey of finding what works best for you and your body so explore different options.
Types of Meditation
Experiment and investigate to find the type of meditation that resonates with you. Here are just a few to consider:
- Sound: focus on the sounds around you, moving from one sound to another bringing full awareness. Another idea is to use a nature sounds CD.
- Breath: this could be aware of your inhale and exhale, extending or restricting breath, Dirgha, Nadi Shodhana, etc.
- Focus: using an object to bring us into the present moment. (i.e., staring at a flame of a candle).
- Chanting: the melody and repetition of a chant is another way to meditate. Practice with a CD or online resource (youtube) until you are comfortable on your own. (i.e., OM or Lokah samastha sukhino bhavanthu)
- Mantra: repetition of a mantra within your mind can be extremely relaxing. You may choose a traditional mantra (i.e., OM or Om Namah Shivaya) or a personal affirmation (i.e., I love myself or I am free from anger).
- Sensations: Bring full awareness to a physical sensation in your body without moving to attend to it, then move full awareness to another physical sensation.
- Body scan: Bring awareness to each body part starting with your toes and slowly moving up the body to the crown of your head.