We meditate for many reasons: to heal, for emotional cleansing, deepening insight, manifesting change, finding inner guidance, unlocking creativity, and for creating a peaceful oasis of relaxation in this busy world. Studies keep proving to us that meditation can help calm anxiety, stress, and depression.
3 Keys to Begin: The Seat, the Breath and The Mind
The Seat – find a way to sit comfortably to enjoy the experience. Many people assume we have to sit on the floor cross-legged with no movement. You can sit in a chair, on the floor, with your back against the wall, legs crossed or straight in front of you. We have to start somewhere and meet ourselves where we are right now.
Part of finding your seat is finding a spot you can go to each time you meditate. Use the same pillow, blanket or shawl, and the same location. This way, each time you approach this space your mind will associate it with meditation. You also create a vibration in that area over time.
How to sit: place a pillow under your sit bones to support the low back, legs propped up if you need to. Spine is tall and long. Top of head reaches toward the sky, chest is lifted slightly, chin slightly tucked in, inhale shoulders up and back, eyes closed and turned up and in toward the third eye or brow point. Hands can be resting palms up on the thighs.
The Breath – first evaluate your current breathing pattern and slowly allow it to shift and re-pattern. Here’s how to practice long deep breathing: inhale deeply, taking the breath deeply into the lower abdomen, then into the chest and finally into the collarbone area. Yes, the lungs are that big.
Always breathe in and out through the nose – inhale and exhale equal length. It takes time to bring the breathe in that deeply. Perhaps try lying down first with one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest to see how the breath is actually moving. On the exhale lightly pull in the navel point toward the spine to help the lungs expel any air trapped that could create restlessness in the body.
The Mind – find a way to manage the busy mind. One of the most common misconceptions is this: we are supposed to have a completely empty mind with no thoughts during our meditation. Fact: 2 billion bits of information come at us each moment, so that will never happen. What we can do in meditation is be aware of our thoughts as they show up, because they will, as soon as we try to be still and quiet.
When we meditate it is more about how we handle the stream of incoming thoughts. Try to notice them, and not follow or engage in any way – instead, let them go each time they appear. I tell myself this to make my brain happy: ‘I let go now and will get back to you later.’
Know it is much easier to meditate while on vacation that a busy work week. Each time you sit it will be a different experience. Try to remain unattached to the outcome. The results are cumulative and take time – and it is worth it to take the time.
Find 5 minutes…we can find 5 minutes for social media or TV each day – now take five of those minutes for meditation; a practice that will change your entire life in such a fabulous way.
*In Kundalini Yoga we meditate in every class. Please join Lynn Clyde and I, we will be teaching an 8-week series April 23 – June 14. Two classes per week: Mondays @6pm and Thursdays @noon.
I wish you an abundant Spring season filled with much love, passion and adventure. As always I am here to support you in this life journey – and welcome your feedback.