Meditation is the essence of a calm mind. What meditation can do to your body is incredible. I know you would have heard it many times that meditation can do wonders for your overall health.
Meditation is known to help in curing many chronic diseases and stress. As we all know, stress is the cause of many diseases. And meditation is known to reduce stress.
It is a very old technique used in ancient populations. Somehow the world forgot these centuries old techniques. If you feel like your mind is questioning the outcome, try to think this way. We are alive because we breathe. So breathing is life. Oxygen goes inside and nourish our bodies at cellular level. Meditation is concentrating on your breathing.
How to start meditation
To start meditation, you don’t need fancy things. The most important is your own will to start and do it consistently. Before anything else, let us see what is meditation and how many types of meditations are there.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of transforming your mind. All types of meditation help in a calmer mind, clear thoughts, and being closer to oneself. Also, meditation is the process of focussing your attention on a single object, internal or external while being aware of your presence.
In our normal day to day lives, we don’t feel the time passing. We just run here and there doing our daily chores. Meditation help us by realising our presence. Not only this, we never feel the presence of our bodies. While meditating, you become aware of your own body.
Types of meditations
There are many types of meditations to chose from. Though the final goal for all of them is to be aware of your presence and have a clear mind.
Mindful meditation originated in the Buddhist tradition. This is the simplest form of meditation and can be done at home or at any calm and quiet place. It is the practice of focusing on your present. Either you can focus on what you are doing or you can sit in a quiet place and watch your thoughts coming and going.
Let them come and go but don’t start weaving around your thoughts.
2. Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation is a widely used and scientifically studied form of meditation. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced this meditation to the world. Practitioners are given a Sanskrit mantra to focus along while following the breath.
3. Mantra Meditation
Mantra Meditation is practised by chanting a word or mantra especially Om. This mantra can be chanted either aloud or silently. Chanting clears your mind and makes you aware of your presence. This form of meditation is great for those who cannot focus on breath silently.
4. Focused meditation
Focused meditation is focusing on anything external or internal. Either you can focus on your breath or you can focus on something like the beads of a mala. In religious traditions, it is taught to recite a spiritual word(mantra) with each bead of mala. Normally there are 108 beads in a mala.
I have seen all my elders at home doing focused meditation with a mala. I myself love to do focused meditation and I use a mala made of wool yarn. My mother gave it to me when I came to Australia.
5. Breathe Awareness Meditation
Breath Awareness meditation encourages to focus on the breath while breathing slowly and deeply. This is easy to do and helps a lot in reducing anxiety and stress
There are many types of meditations but it really depends on you which one you want to practice. Meditation helps in not only the release of feel-good hormones. It is a lot more than this. It is a life-changing habit.
But as you start your day to day activities, you forget everything. Stress, worry, anxiety engulfs your whole brain. All the thoughts become worrisome. All the attention goes towards outside world. You forget to stop and sit with your own self. Here comes the meditation. It is going inward. Feeling your own presence. Feeling your own subtle movements.
If you want to learn meditation as a beginner, don’t stress too much. Just do it. For beginners, sit in a calm posture. Most of the time lotus or half-lotus is considered good. Then feel your breath. Feel the inhalation and exhalation. Start it with two minutes. And gradually increase your time.
1. Do it in the morning
Morning is the best time for meditation. It sets you for the whole day. Meditating in the morning is easy. It is easy to concentrate on anything in the morning. Your whole system is relaxed and there is less noise outside. It is easy to start a new habit when you are relaxed.
Learning a new habit takes time. It is easy to get busy in your daily stuff and forget about new things. But mornings are more productive and you can spare some time by waking up a few minutes earlier. This way your normal routine is not disturbed.
2. Find a quiet corner.
Sitting in a calm area is always recommended for meditation. Because it is difficult to bring back your brain each time the practice is interrupted from the outside clamour. But having a peaceful place works in your favour and helps in better focus.
A calmer place will reduce the time taken to quiet your time as your mind may take a few minutes to settle. And then you will need a few more minutes for actual meditation. Also, you will need a cushion or yoga mat to sit. If sitting on the ground is difficult you can sit on a chair. There is no hard and fast rule for this. The actual thing required is your mind and body, that’s it.
3. Sit with your spine straight
Sit in a lotus position ( recommended). But as a beginner, it is a bit difficult to sit in a full lotus position. If you find difficulty in sitting in the lotus position, you can start with half lotus. Sit with a straight spine, fold your left knee and place your ankle on right thigh. If you feel difficulty in any of these, just sit as you feel comfortable. With practice, these things become easy as your body will become more relaxed and tension free.
Most important is to keep your spine in its natural straight position. Don’t slouch. Sitting in a half-lotus position in an upright position helps in focusing your mind.
4. Curl your index finger and thumb into Gyana mudra
Sit with Gyana mudra. Gyana mudra is curling your index finger and thumb. They should touch their tips. This mudra ( mudra means closure in Sanskrit) helps in concentration of mind. So it is best to make yoga mudra with your hands. Or you can simply keep your hands in your lap.
5. Start feeling your breaths
This is the beginning. Close your eyes, start feeling your inhalations and exhalations. When you inhale, try to feel the subtle sound of your breath. And when you exhale, feel the breath going out. When you will pay attention to your breaths, your breathing will become deeper.
Deep breathing takes more oxygen while inhaling. And your lungs will be filled with more oxygen. Also, it expels more air while exhalation
6. Let thoughts come and go
As soon as you will pay attention to your breaths, you will start feeling calmness, your body will become relaxed. Let the thoughts come and go. Don’t overthink on thoughts and don’t pay attention to the thoughts. Whether they are negative or positive. Try not to weave around thoughts. If you feel like you are wandering, bring your senses back.
As humans, we have a tendency to start overthinking and complicate things. Make your meditation ritual simple. Keep your thinking simple. Keep your thoughts simple.
7. Start to feel the presence of your body
Feel like your body is present here. Relax it and remove any tension present in your body. Feel like all the tissues and muscles in the body are relaxed. It is lighter now. Pay attention to how your body moves with the breaths. While practising this, you will feel your presence. While most of the times you(we) are either in your(our) past or future.
8. Timing for meditation
You can meditate either in the morning or anytime. And as many times in a day as you want. But practice it daily. Even if for a few minutes. Even a few minutes of meditation do wonders for you. The only catch is making it a habit and doing it daily. Meditation is easy and it has got so many benefits but very few people do it.
Reason for this is making it a habit is difficult. But with practice, it becomes easy. Use a timer with soothing ring for timing.
Meditation can be a life-changing experience if you include it in your daily routine and make it a habit.
- Don’t try to think anything.
- Let the thoughts come and go.
- Don’t concentrate on thoughts.
- Do not try to clear your mind.
- Just bring back your attention when you feel like your mind has started wandering.
With practice, you will be able to concentrate. Our mind is scattered here and there but meditation helps in focusing the mind. Meditation is a life-changing habit. You would love it.
If you feel like this article can inspire you to do meditation, please share it.
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