Tips to introduce and elevate your Meditation practice.
By now, the vast majority of us is aware that Meditation has incredible health benefits for our bodies and minds, including:
Reduces anxiety and stress, helping to regulate cortisol levels and control our response to stress
Promotes positive mental & emotional Health, lowering the levels of inflammatory chemicals in the brain released when we are stressed or depressed
Improves sleep, helping to control and redirect our thoughts that usually lead to insomnia
Helps to control pain, through a greater control of our 'fight or flight' system and improved response to distressing situations
Boosts our immune system, restoring and fostering new nerve connections in the brain
Decreases blood pressure, helping to relax the nerve signals that control the heart function and blood vessel tension
Prevent/reduce memory loss, helping to repair nerve connections in the brain that boosts mental clarity
But implementing it regularly as part of our routines is often easier said than done.
I'll be honest with you, Meditation does not come easy to me, even as a Yoga practitioner and teacher. I am an over-thinker and music is constantly playing in my head, even amidst complete silence. Is this you too?
Still, Meditation is the best antidote I have for anxiety and to be able to keep up my hectic lifestyle of building a business, enjoying time with friends and traveling back home to see my family.
So I've been sticking with it, and after a few years of practice, I am sharing below my top tips to help you introduce Meditation in your day-to-day or elevate your current practice.
#1 - Add it to an existing routine
When you start, or if you're looking for consistency, I would advise adding Meditation to a current and well-established routine you already have. For example, right after you wake up before you shower or just before you go to bed.
Also, I would recommend following your natural predisposition, meaning if you're an early bird, meditate in the morning, and if you're a night owl, save it for the evening/night.
#2 - Start small
Our brains have been designed to keep us safe, and in a permanent state of alert so we can survive. This means that Meditation goes against the most basic function of our brain.
We have thousands of thoughts every day, so don't expect you'll be able to sit and quieten your mind immediately. Start small, setting up a timer for 5 minutes and increasing it as you gain practice and Meditation feels more natural to you.
Also, lower your expectations - your wild monkey mind won't just stay still because you're sitting in Meditation. When you start, your priority is not to cease your thoughts completely (this idea is counterproductive). Instead, practice detaching yourself from them, letting them go and take their course, refocusing on the meditation technique you're using.
With time, it'll become easier to silence your mind but this takes patience and consistency. Trust the process.
"The most powerful benefits of meditation come from having regular, daily practice ." – Deepak Chopra
#3 - Meditate always in the same space
To set-up a routine, I would suggest that you always use the same space to meditate. This helps to instil the habit, signalling your brain that is now time to slow down and meditate.
And regardless of whether you're able to sit crossed leg on the floor or not, make sure your spine is lengthened and you're sitting upright, so the energy can flow unblocked.
#4 - Before you meditate, breathe
Unless you're a very experienced Meditation practitioner, sitting crossed legged, withdrawing the senses and focusing on one single thing during a prolonged amount of time is extremely difficult.
But there are steps you can take beforehand to prepare your mind for Meditation.
One of these steps is adding a breathing exercise just before you meditate, for example, inhaling in 5 and exhaling in 10, and repeating until your mind is calm and your awareness is fully on your breath.
Breathing exercises bring you back to the present moment and are really helpful to slow down your thoughts, contributing to easier and more productive meditation sessions.
(If you're looking for breathing exercises, we share loads on our Instagram page, so make sure you give us follow here)
#5 - When you find a technique that resonates, repeat it
There are a number of meditation techniques you can use, from symbols (Yantra) to sound (Mantra), or body functions such as our breath and the beating of our heart.
If you're a beginner, symbols or sound tend to be easier to pick up. However, for consistency, you'll want to use the technique that resonates the most with you and the one you find most straightforward.
Then repeat it until it feels second nature. That's when you'll really start meditating.
Did these help? Leave me a comment below if you'll be giving them or try or share the tips that have helped you meditate regularly and consistently.
Practising Yoga makes Meditation easier and more powerful
The whole idea of Yoga is to prepare your body physically and mentally for Meditation - from the poses that help you strengthen your body so you can comfortably sit crossed legged for longer, to exercises that will help you unwind and relax your mind, so you're able to focus and expand your consciousness.
➡️ This is why our classes always include Meditation, so we can reap the benefits of Yoga for more powerful and productive Meditation sessions.
Learn to meditate or elevate your Meditation practice, joining our group classes online - live streamed or on-demand. Try FREE for 14-days here