Being the publisher of an online magazine about yoga has its perks. We’re sent lovely creams to try, books and foods for review and can sometimes check out a free class or an event in our community. It also means that you’re often the go-to person when people have questions about yoga – or anything related to yoga. Lately I started to wonder if something was in the air when for the sixth time I was asked: how do you meditate? All I could share with people is how I approach my meditation practice and because of the overall enthusiastic response, I’ve decided to share this advice with you.
Start your meditation practice now:
Do it in the morning
I roll out of bed and onto a cushion. It’s not a pillow or something I grabbed from the couch – it’s a cushion that I bought and keep for the sole purpose of meditating.
Take the position
Seated comfortably, gentle close your eyes or take your gaze (dristi) to the tip of your nose. The key is that you have a gentle gaze. Try and be still within your body. Rest your hand comfortably. Notice any tightening in the body, acknowledge it and then try and move on to a stillness. Sometimes right before I start I TIGHTEN, SQUEEZE everything for 10 seconds and then release. I find this helps to ‘let go’ within my body.
Quiet your mind
Ha! Easy, right? Or so you think. My mind is always going – I’m doing lists in my head while I’m getting dressed, brushing my teeth, walking my dog… I’ve got a monkey mind on speed. So how do you quiet your mind? Pick a thought, acknowledge it and then release it. How? Don’t judge it. Just let it sit there so that you know you’ve had it and then let it go. As they say in the Transcendental Meditation school – ‘let it go, let it flow’.
Become aware of your breathing
Tap into the sound of your breath. Count it. INHALE for a count of four… EXHALE for a count of four… listen to your breathing.
Do it, Do it, Do it
Start small, anythign new can be intimidating. Try two-minutes to begin and if you have the capacity, go to five minutes, then try 10 minutes. The goal is meditating 20 minutes a day, two times a day. I get there sometimes but more often than not, I get the first 20 minutes in and a solid five minutes in the middle of my day.
Start today – and let us know how your feel. We’re excited to hear.