When I first started out on my yoga journey years ago, I came across this practice called 'meditation'. Back then, I had a hard time really grasping the point and idea behind meditation. I just kept hearing people say how good it is for you, how much it has affected their lives in a positive fashion. However I still didn't have a good idea on what it actually WAS. Due to my curiosity and love of knowledge, I set off on a journey to play around with this concept of meditation. I can now say, I have a firm grasp on what it is all about.
So I'm going to share with you now, the wonderful practice that I have come to love and have implemented in my daily routine and in my classes.
What's the purpose of meditation? Well, if your life is anything like mine, it's busy, go-go-go, always moving and always having information and advertisements shoved into your face.
The point of meditation is to relax, unwind the mind and take a pause in your life.
Doing this will broaden your perspective and create a sense of calm and peace in your busy life. By slowing down the 'busy traffic' in your head, you have a chance to re-connect with your minds mental state, emotions, body sensations, and environment around you.
**Please note: a common misconception of meditation is that the goal is to clear your mind of all thoughts. This is impossible to do, unless you are no longer living. The main point is to not get attached to the thoughts and feelings, but to just let them pass by.**
How to meditate? Well, there are many different forms of meditation, such as guided meditation/visualization, movement meditation (including Yoga and Qi Gong), focused attention meditation, colouring meditation, Yoga Nidra, etc. There's a lot of different types out there, the best way to find the right practice for you is to explore them.
One of my favourite methods is guided meditation. For meditation beginners, I recommend trying this style as you are guided through the steps from a meditation expert, who can help keep you on the right track.
You can look up YouTube videos for meditation (I personally enjoyed the videos from Faith Hunter's 30 Day Challenge) or download apps (I'm currently using Headspace). There's a lot of resources out there for you. I have even taken my favourite techniques from different meditation styles and created my own style. Since I recorded my voice, I can now listen to it anytime, anywhere.
Where to practice? There are no rules on where you can and cannot practice. However it's always best to pick a place that is quiet and un-cluttered, somewhere where you can really relax. Meditation is usually done sitting upright (either with legs crossed or on a chair). It's also a good idea to make sure you won't be too cold or too hot -- you don't want anything taking your focus off the meditation.
If you are doing a walking meditation, try to find a quiet and safe street or forest path to walk along, where you can really take in the sights, smells and sounds around you.
What are the benefits of meditation? As mentioned previously, meditation can bring greater perspective and a sense of calm to your life.
It can help you with:
Improving your focus in day-to-day life
Observing and controlling your emotions
Reducing your stress levels
Preventing emotional eating, smoking, and other addictive behaviours
Enhancing your self-esteem and self-acceptance
Increasing memory retention and recall
Improving your immune system and energy levels
Better cognitive skills and creative thinking
Better decision making
Meditation is also known to help with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. And these are only a few benefits, there are many more!
So what are you waiting for? There's no better time to start than now.
You can pick the time of day that best fits your schedule (any time is fine), you can pick the duration of your meditation (1 min, 5 min, 10 min, 30 min, or 1hr), you can do it anywhere (at home, office, on the train), and you can pick which type of meditation practice you'd like.
If you have any questions about meditation, feel free to contact me.
I hope you have an amazing day,