If you want to (finally) start a meditation practice, start here

At this point, repeating the benefits of meditation is like singing the praises of the sun or Birkenstocks or chocolate cake. The jury is back, and there are some rules of focus. But if you’re just starting out, you may have questions about how to get the most out of your time with closed eyes.

“Meditation has a way of changing your life from the inside out by changing your mind,” says meditation instructor Kirat Randhawa of Alo Moves. The most common form of meditation is mindfulness, which involves focusing on your thoughts, your breathing, an object, or a feeling without judgment.

According to some estimates, meditation is thousands of years old. And there’s a reason this practice stands the test of time: For many people, it’s appropriate Works, Here, Randhawa explains the benefits of lying on a meditation pillow for at least one minute a day and how to incorporate this healthy exercise into your everyday life.

benefits of meditation

Randhawa says meditation has a wide range of benefits that vary from person to person, need to need, and even culture to culture. “In general, [meditation] “It can help people develop a more accepting relationship with their experience, including engaging the mind, which allows us to see clearly and thus move forward with greater wisdom,” she says. .

Over time, spending more time with your mind can give you more autonomy over your internal and external experiences. “We tap into an inner resourcefulness that helps us sleep better, feel less stress and anxiety, focus better, make intuitive decisions, ignite creative flow, see how we contribute to our distress, and trust “Learning to do can help meet a wide range of goals. We have our own experience,” says Randhawa.

this is one Very Meditation’s a win-win, but the benefits aren’t purely mental. It has also been observed that meditation improves conditions like high blood pressure and reduces the chances of cardiovascular mortality. Mindfulness training has also been linked to improved sports performance, so incorporating sitting into your pre-workout routine could really make today’s session a PR.

different types of meditation

Given that meditation is older than many countries, this wellness practice has had a lot of time to develop and branch out. There are countless types of meditation prevalent in the present times. Below, Randhawa breaks down some of them.

conscious

“Mindfulness is the practice of creating a clear, spacious mind through sustained concentration,” says Randhawa. “In turn, this allows for greater behavioral and emotional flexibility, allowing us to think, speak, and move in more desirable ways.”

Thanks to its simple instructions, mindfulness is a great option for beginners (more on that in just a second).

Vedic

Also known as Transcendental Meditation (TM), Vedic meditation was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and has gained popularity among celebrities over the years. This style of meditation is a 20-minute practice twice a day that uses mantras that help you reach a state of awareness. Generally, a trainer is recommended for these sessions.

Visualization

Visualization is exactly what it sounds like: a type of meditation that asks you to bring certain images or experiences to mind. Randhawa says, “Visualization is a creative technique that inspires behavior change by igniting optimistic imagination and emotional expansion through reflection.”

For example, you might envision yourself playing as a child to increase self-compassion for your adult self and facilitate the healing of painful experiences that happened to you a long time ago. This is called inner-child meditation.

5 tips you can follow to start a meditation practice

Here’s what a simple mindfulness meditation session looks like on paper:

  1. Find a comfortable but upright position that you can hold without much strain throughout your meditation. A chair, pillow, or stool will work well.
  2. Set your timer for the duration you choose for your session.
  3. Gently close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing.
  4. As you begin to note your inhales and exhales, you may find it useful to count the following: breath One, exhale Two, breath Three, exhale Four etc. If you don’t want to count, just focus your attention on your breathing.
  5. Don’t scold yourself whenever your mind wanders. Instead, gently draw your intention back to the breath. Whether you do this once or a hundred times per session, be patient and kind to yourself.
  6. When the timer goes off, gently bring your awareness back to your body and blink your eyes. As you reconnect with the world, move slowly and notice how you feel.

At face value, meditation may seem simple. You just close your eyes and focus on your breathing, right? Well, yes, but (but!!!), this is easier said than done. Before you plop down on the couch cushions and close your eyes, take note of Randhawa’s five beginner meditation tips.

1. Find your intention

Setting your intention before you begin meditating will help you establish some direction in your meditation practice. ,[An intention] “It can act as a ‘motivator’ of the mind and support a closer connection with inner states that resemble spontaneity, comfortable presence, and alertness,” says Randhawa.

For example, if your goal is to calm down after reading some really upsetting political coverage, tell yourself that before you start meditating to orient your practice.

2. Be consistent

Ask yourself when (and for how long) you can meditate each day. “It’s important to recognize what our current ability to train the mind is so we can move forward in accordance with that truth,” says Randhawa. “Completing 10 minutes of meditation per day when the mind is more calm and alert is much more beneficial than completing 30 minutes of meditation per day when the mind is distracted.”

Perhaps you choose the moment you wake up or the moment the coffee starts; Perhaps you’re someone who meditates more before bed. Just like putting a little money into your 401K each month, meditating for just a few minutes a day will help you accumulate mental wealth over time.

3. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously

“Recognize that this is a practice. Just as we train for several months before engaging in a marathon, the same level of precise training is necessary to develop stability of mind,” says Randhawa. When we sit and expect our mind to be cool, calm and collected, we may be unnecessarily disappointed to find ourselves with the mental equivalent of a tornado.

Randhawa says, “Take your time, move at your own pace, and know that the healing of practice occurs when attention is brought back to the breath or body every time it wanders. This is where growth happens.”

4. Express gratitude for this practice

Sitting and tuning into yourself is a special moment and should be treated as such. “As you engage in a daily mindfulness practice, take a moment to honor the causes and conditions that have come together to enable you to meditate and explore the mind,” says Randhawa. “Practice, reverence for the teachings, and the ability to develop compassionate awareness invite us to appreciate those who have practiced before and those who will come after.”

5. Let creativity flow into your practice

Meditation practice should not feel rigid or suffocating. Over time, you’ll find that this is actually an opportunity to play.

Randhawa says, “Let yourself be guided by what your body and mind really need. Maybe it’s inviting more silence, or it’s inviting some background sound. You lie down, straight. May want to try sitting or even walking meditation.” “By relaxing in a creative space, you will be able to show yourself consistently and flexibly every day.”

Try This Beginner-Friendly Meditation

Using a video or app to guide you through meditation can be a great place to start your practice. Below, a breathing coach and meditation guide.

Christina Joy takes you through an intention-setting meditation, which can be an energizing way to start the day.


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