Begin Your Practice
There are many ways to meditate from sitting still on a cushion to taking a walk inside or outside and even laying down. You can practice mindfulness and meditation alone or in a group setting.
How to Meditate
It is important you are comfortable throughout your practice. This includes locating a clearing your mind, finding a good spot, setting a time and having good posture.
Clear Your Mind
Before beginning your practice for the day take 45 seconds to write down everything in your head. Releasing your thoughts to paper will clear space in your head to focus on your breath and will take away the distraction that may interrupt your practice.
There is no wrong or right way to meditate. Getting caught up in the thought of “am I doing this right?” will have you lost in thought. It is also good to let your body know this is not a fad, it is a gradual lifestyle change that will take time (no quick fixes here).
Find a good place in your home to meditate.
Ideally, this place is clutter free, quiet and free from distractions. You can leave the lights on or allow natural light to flow through the room. If you have pets or children find ways to incorporate them into your meditation by creating a space for them near you or allowing them to be in the room. In the beginning, you may get distracted. By returning to your breath you are able to focus on and continue your practice.
Set a Time
In the beginning, you may feel overwhelmed by when to stop. These thoughts have the power to take away from your practice. It is best to set a timer, allowing you to focus. Start with 5 minutes and gradually increase it as you become comfortable. Eventually, you may be able to practice for an hour.
Scheduling a set time daily or weekly will help you remain consistent to your practice, even if its 15 minutes and you do it at work, schedule time to meditate and be mindful.
Improve Your Posture
- Select your seat. This can be a cushion, yoga mat or park bench. Whatever you select, make sure your posture is upright, you are not leaning back and are stable.
- Cross your legs comfortably in front of you if you’re sitting on a cushion or mat. If you are seated in a chair plant your feet on the ground.
- Straighten your upper body, resting your head and shoulder on top of your vertebrae.
- Keep your arms to your side with your hands resting on your knees.
- Drop your chin, release your tongue from the roof of your mouth, relax your shoulders away from your ears.
- Gaze gently forward and lower your eyelids. If you choose to keep your eyes open, don't focus on any particular area, let what is before your eyes be there.
- Settle into your posture and begin your breath.
If you find yourself getting pain in your neck, legs or feet, or any other form of discomfort, slightly adjust for comfort. Remember, it is important to speak to your medical provider before trying any new positions.
Next week we will continue our practice and explore different movements and techniques that can be practiced by all body types.