5 Steps To Start Your Meditation Practice
Let the meditation practice unfold over time
To sit in meditation is not easy and that is the reason why we practice yoga-asanas first in the yoga teacher training before we sit down to meditate. Meditation may be very difficult in the beginning as we are not used to the process of “non-doing”. All beginners are experiencing the same hardship more or less and with these easy to follow steps we hope to help you along the way to a fantastic meditation practice.
ONE: Always keep your spine straight
An upright posture helps you to concentrate on your breathing. Try not to slump with your back but have your legs where it feels comfortable, whether it means you have them crossed or straight. Not everyone can sit in lotus position. What you do with your hands is also not so important – focus on sitting comfortably with a good attitude. By pulling the chin towards the chest, as if you look downward, you open the chest and facilitate breathing. Let an experienced practitioner help you with your seated position. Half lotus, virasana or any variation of these is fine. Make sure you sit in that exact same positionn every time you meditate from now on.
TWO: Use a timer
Set the timer on your cellphone for how long you want to meditate. Don’t worry, you do not have to sit there for hours. As a beginner you can start with a short session of 5-10 minutes and work your way up to 30 minutes or longer if desired.
THREE: Mouth closed and jaw muscles relaxed
Keep your mouth closed when you breathe. Breathe in and out through your nose during the meditation. Also make sure to relax the jaw and tunge, if it means you have to have your mouth open, it’s okay
FOUR: Find focus in the breath
Focus on the breathing and the feeling of your body. Instead of trying not to think of things that make you stressed everyday, you can find something positive to focus on: your breathing or the sensations in your body. By wholeheartedly focusing on the exhale and the exhale, you will feel how all thoughts dissolves. Some people choose to focus on how the lungs expand and contract, while others prefer to think about how oxygen passes in and out through the nose during breathing. All is good, find what works for you.
FIVE: Bring the focus back…and back again to the breath
This is when most people get distracted. The job of the mind is to think and it is normal that thoughts keep popping up. The trick is to keep calm and still. Find the focus again if the thoughts wanders away. Even though you’ve meditated a lot in your life the mind will always wander. Maybe you start to think about the bills, what to eat for dinner and what time that TV show starts. If you notice that what is outside of your meditation zone begins to get in, do not panic. Instead, try to steer your focus back to how it feels in the body and let your thoughts come and go.
Want to learn more about yoga and meditation? Sign up for a yoga teacher training with us in Nicaragua.