Meditation 101 – Tips to Getting Started

Meditation has an extraordinary number of benefits. Not only is great for your mental health, but it can impact your physical health as well. Whether you are new to meditation or just getting back into your practice, it can be hard to feel motivated and get comfortable. Here are a few tips to help make things a little easier and improve your meditation so you can get the most from your practice.

 

  1. Proper Posture.
    Finding the right meditation seat can make all the difference when you are trying to quiet the mind. It’s not so much about where you are sitting when you meditate, but rather how you are sitting. Proper posture in your seat is crucial for achieving a proper meditative state. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the floor; you can meditate anywhere, whether it is a chair at work or on the floor at home. It’s entirely up to you, but making sure you have good posture it what really counts.

    • I recommend finding a chair with a solid back and having your feet flat on the floor. If you choose to sit on the ground, sitting on a cushion will get your hips above your knees and will help you sit up straighter.
    • It is important to have a nice tall spine with relaxed shoulders when you are stilling. The straighter your back, the more room your lungs can have to expand and the happier your lower back will be. It can be very helpful to lift your chest up toward the sky as you breath to remind yourself to sit up straighter.
    • Another way you can improve how you sit is imagining a shining ray of light coming from the base of your spine through the middle of your head. It’s a nice visual that will get you to tuck your chin and relax the head back into a taller position.
    • The final way you can help your posture is finding a nice supportive hand placement. Placing your hands on your knees can help remind you to keep your shoulders back. Over time, as you feel stronger in your posture, you can practice different hand placements; but, for now, use them to your advantage!
  1. Start With Small Goals.
    You don’t need to reach enlightenment the first time you sit down to meditate. As a matter of fact, goals or expectations are too high will cause you to lose focus. Disappointment is the hardest thing to work through when trying to reach a goal. Not only that, but it can cause you to grow frustrated when you don’t see the results you expected on the first try. Instead, start with small sessions of three to five minutes.If this is your first time or you’re just coming back to your practice, the first few minutes of meditation can feel like forever. Even if you have been meditating for years, sometimes if you are working through something the time during your meditation can appear to last forever. If you come in with a small goal of meditating for a shorter period of time, it can help you build confidence and allow you to be more open to sitting for longer time periods. Meditating for 2 minutes is better than not meditating at all.
  1. Practice on a Daily Basis.
    Just like yoga, meditation gets easier the more you do it. Practicing on a daily basis will allow you really to feel all the wonderful benefits of meditation. It is important to find a time that works best for you during the day and commit to practicing daily. This way you will form a habit and not even know it. Don’t forget to make smaller time goals in the beginning and then increase the time as you go along. The more you practice the more you will come to enjoy meditation, in yoga there is a joke that the poses you don’t like doing are the ones you need to do more.
  1. Find a Good Meditation Space.
    Once you picked what time you are going to meditate – it could be the morning, during lunch, or in the evening – it’s a good idea to choose a room or location that will become your “meditation space.” This should be a room free from distractions, such as loud noises or electronics. It is should also be a place that is only for meditation. This way, when you go to sit down and meditate, your mind and body are completely aware that it is time to meditate and you can dive right in.Most people pick a corner in their house and dress it up with things that make them feel calm. Have blankets, bolsters, incense, and noise cancelers nearby so there is little-to-no prep for the area. This way you know you are all set for meditation and you have no excuses. In time, your mind will even begin to associate this room with the tranquility of meditation. This will make it easier to enter a proper meditative state.

Over time, you will notice, too, that the mind won’t need a space to practice mindfulness and meditation. During stressful times, you will find that your body will just automatically begin to breath as it would in meditation to relieve stress, but that is just one of the many benefits! Meditation is an amazing tool and should be experienced by all, so use these tips to help yourself get through the more challenging session so you can continue to feel all the wonderful benefits.

Have you found any great strategies to foster a successful mediation practice? Share with us below.

Katherine Dainis, founder of Wellness Sidekick, holds a certification in Holistic Health Coaching, is a licensed Esthetician and Massage Therapist and is a Yoga instructor. Teaching others to calm the mind, open the heart and listen to the body for better wellness. Her mission has been to help individuals feel happier and healthier than they ever thought possible. More of her writing can be found on wellnesssidekick.com.

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