Top Tips for Meditation on World Meditation Day
Today is World Meditation Day. During these changing times, many of us may be feeling anxious about what happens next. A great way to relieve stress is by meditating. To help you on your quest to find some peace and calmness today we’ve got some top tips from our friend Rachael Little (200hr Vinyasa Yoga Teacher (RYT), Yoga for Sports (YAP)).
Meditation and mindfulness are buzzwords these days for good reason. Yogis have been practicing dhyana (meditation) for millennia. But you don’t have to be a Yogi to meditate or practice mindfulness. It’s just as, if not more necessary, in this age than ever before, with our busy lives and numerous stimuli – our phones, notifications and technology all around us 24 hours a day.
Here are some simple tips, even if you’ve never had a go at meditation before, to quiet your mind and maybe make meditation part of your modern daily life:
1 – PREPARE
Find a quiet place and settle on a comfortable or cushion or folded blanket – aim to have the hips slightly higher than the feet (sitting cross-legged on a cushion with the feet on the floor is ideal. Take a moment to check in with your posture – and try to find a position that allows you to keep your back straight.
You may want to decide how much time you’d like to devote to sitting in the beginning. Consistency is key. Even a few minutes every day will get you off to a great start. But do set the time aside.
2 – BREATH
Set aside your industrious / busy mind. BREATH. Tune in to the feeling of being present and your physical presence (like a mini body scan) as you breathe.
Notice any tensions and mental concerns. Acknowledge them, then invite them to relax and release.
Start to tune into the process of breathing. Feel the breath in your belly. Don’t concern yourself with analyzing or modifying your respiration, just feel it and centre your awareness on the ebb and flow, the inhale and exhale.
Breathe in: be aware that you’re breathing in. Breathe out: you’re aware that you’re breathing out.
3 – OBSERVE
When you notice that your mind has wandered, gently but mindfully bring it back to the breath. This is mindfulness: training in awareness, acknowledging, letting go and coming home to the breath and the present moment.
4 – MEDITATION METHODS (there are 100’s!)
Close down the eyes – withdrawing from the senses and stimuli really helps!
When you are first starting out in meditating perhaps count the breath – breath in through the nose for a steady count of 4 and out through the nose for a count of 4.
5 – PRACTICE GRATITUDE
When you are ready to end your meditation session, relax, stretch, and enjoy a moment of gratitude for something or someone, and especially yourself – that you took this time for yourself, to nourish your mind – before picking your busy life back up where you left it, You should feel relaxed, and hopefully, with practice, you will feel renewed and refreshed.