How to start a meditation practice?
Meditation means engaging in mental exercises like concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra, to stay centered and keep inner peace. Such practices can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. You can also use it to relax and cope with stress by refocusing your attention on something calming. Let’s learn how to start practicing meditation.
Set a goal to meditate
The first thing you do before starting a meditation practice is to think about what you want to achieve. Whether you want to improve your creativity, quiet your inner chattering, or want to make a spiritual connection, meditation helps you in all. If you simply want to relax and want to spend some time with yourself, that’s also enough to meditate.
Wear comfortable clothes for meditation practice
It’s important to wear soft, calming clothing when you meditate. This will make it easier for you to focus on your inner self instead of your appearance. The clothing you wear can set the tone for your meditation as well. Choose colors that support the purpose of your meditation session. If you are meditating in public, be mindful of how your clothing affects the people around you. You may also want to wear breathable clothing as well.
Find a distraction-free place to meditate in
It’s much more difficult to concentrate on your inner core when you are surrounded by destruction. This is especially true if you are a beginner. Most people find their room the most comfortable corner in this whole noisy world. Find your own. Before starting a meditation practice in the bedroom or living room, turn off the TV and other distracting devices, and close your windows and door to create a comfortable environment.
Before starting a meditation practice, make sure you are in a position where you would not usually fall asleep. It helps to have an active posture. You can think of having a bit of space between your vertebrae so your spine is tall or a stream connected to the top of the head pulling you up ever so gently.
Let your hand rest on your lap or on your knees.
It’s often suggested to close your eyes during meditation so you can focus your attention inward. If that’s not comfortable for you. Feel free to keep your eyes open. Just allow your gaze to rest gently down toward the floor.
Use a meditation cushion to sit on
Meditation cushions or zafus is a circular cushion that allows you to sit on the ground while meditating. Because it does not have a back, as a chair does, it doesn’t let you decline back and lose focus on your energy.
Have a timer at hand.
Set a timer for the length of time you wish to meditate whether 10 minutes or an hour. As you also don’t want to break your concentration during your meditation practice by checking the time.
Keep your mouth closed as you breathe.
You should both inhale and exhale through your nose when meditating. Don’t clench your jaws or grind your teeth; simply relax.
Take a deep breath In and out
After getting comfortable, check in with yourself to see how you are feeling. Now take a nice, slow, deep breath in deeper than you have taken all day so far.
Hold that breath for a beat or long and as you exhale, feeling all of the air leaving your body and letting that exhale a little bit longer than your inhale did.
Focus on your breathing during your meditation practice.
Instead of trying to think about the things that might stress you, give yourself something positive to focus on like your breath. By focusing all of your concentration on your inhalations and exhalations, you’ll find that all other thoughts from the outside world fall away on their own.
Take a more deep breath in and out deeper than the first one
Start taking deeper breaths in, feeling your lungs expand outward resulting in your rib cage expanding outward, and as you exhale feel everything contract back. Make sure that exhale lasts just a little bigger than the inhale. Keep concentrating on your breaths and bring yourself to a state of mind where you’re focused on some aspect of your inner core.
Take another deeper breath that flows through your entire body
A deep breath flows from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and notices how you’re feeling now.
If you get distracted, it’s okay. It’s totally natural and here’s the good news when you realize you’re distracted you’re actually back in the present moment so congratulate yourself and focus back on your breath as your anchor.
Take a breath to ease any tension
Now you’re going to take your next breath and send it all the way down your body to the very tips of your toes, feeling into the groundedness of your feet and letting your breath ease any tension you may be holding there.
Don’t worry about remembering what you’re feeling, or being able to explain the experience at a later time. Just experience each breath at the moment to release your tension.
Keep on taking relaxing breaths
- Take your next breath and send it down into your legs and knees allowing the breath to help relax and rejuvenate these areas.
- Take your next breath and send it into your pelvis and your hips relaxing these areas as you breathe into them.
- Take your next breath and send it into your lower back and belly relaxing your stomach releasing any tension you may be held in these areas.
Take a deeper breath to relax the muscles of your heart and face
- Now take your next breath and send it into the area of your heart. Bring your shoulders down, from your ears, breathing down your arms into your hands.
- Unclench your fists and open your palms, taking the next breath into your neck leading into your lower jaw relaxing your mouth, relaxing your tongue inside your mouth.
- Keep the meditation practice on….if there’s any other place in your body, you’re still feeling tightness or tension. Take some time now to breathe into those areas and feel them relax.
Time to come back from your meditation practice
Continue breathing with your eyes closed just allow your attention to begin to drift back to the room. Take a last deep breath holding it for a beat and exhale again circulating oxygen all the way back to the top of your head and you’re ready, open your eyes.
Take a final relaxing breath
Meditation is a practice to train your mind by inducing a state of consciousness and realizing it through rhythmic breathing patterns. As a whole, it comprises the following sequence of events
- Taking deep breaths
- Focusing on your breathing pattern
- And leaves the worries of the world far.
However, don’t expect your meditation practice to change your life overnight. Mindfulness takes time to exert its influence.
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