Meditation; it’s one of the most important practices you can give yourself. But remember just like yoga it is a practice. It will take time and needs to be integrated into your daily rituals.
Sitting down the first few times to mediate can be intimidating and even confusing. Our minds are so engrained to always be turned on, that finding the “monkey mind” may seem impossible.
If meditation is brand new to you; start by sitting in a comfortable cross legged position. Sit up tall, shoulders rolled back, chin tucked ever so slightly. You may find that propping a small pillow or rolled up towel under your hips can make sitting more comfortable. It naturally allows your hips to open and your spin to ease and lengthen.
Your practice doesn’t need to be hours on end to start getting the benefits of a calm and relaxed mind. You can start your meditation with something as realistic as 10 mins daily. Set your phone alarm, close your eyes and find a slow, steady, breath.
If you find the chitter chatter starts up as soon as your eyes close, then I've got some tips and tricks ready for you.
Finding a nice even inhale and exhale can help calm the mind relax. I use this a lot in my yoga classes for the first few moments of our silent meditation as we come to our mats and set intentions. Try slowly inhaling for a count of 4. On your exhale find that same rhythmic exhale for 4. Repeat as you continue your meditation.
I love the idea of bringing positive intention or thoughts into meditation practice and recently started using this to quiet my mind. Just as the breath count you can include a saying you like or an ancient Sanskrit chant. You can use a syllable, a word, or even the phrase on the inhale and the other part on the exhale. It just depends on your breath. Play with options until you find something that works with your breathing pattern. Here are some options I like:
Inhale= I change my thoughts Exhale= I change my world
Inhale= Love Exhale= Hate
If you like the idea of bringing Sanskrit text into your meditation I love this chant and it works great with the natural breaths rhythm:
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu= May all beings everywhere be happy and free
Online Guided Meditation:
The fabulous world wide web has a bounty of resources available for guided meditations. Try a few out until you find one that works well for you. Turn it on and allow the guide to set intentions and take you deeper into the quiet mind.
This weekend while in Joshua Tree at Shaktifest, I fell in love with sound integration for my meditation. I never realized the power that sound had to transform me into a state of bliss. Experiment with calming playlists that you enjoy or again use good ol Google to find some pre-made set lists that you can turn on to tune out.
Try mixing up these tips until you find what works best for you. The hardest part now is just starting.
Drop us a note below and let us know how these options work for you.