How to start a meditation practice
Starting a meditation practice is much easier than you think! You don't have to commit to hours, in fact I suggest starting small, 2-10 minutes per day. You might even link meditation to a habit you already do, such as brushing your teeth.
Rather than focusing on how long you meditate for it's more important to build a meditation practice into your routine, have consistency rather than try to commit for 30 minutes a day and not make the time or forget. Starting a habit of meditation will help you over time to realise how you feel, the difference it can make to your day and then you may start to increase the time.
For me, first thing in the morning is a good time to practice, my routine is to wake up, practice yoga, then meditate. I make take another 5 or 10 minutes elsewhere in the day to meditate. My morning practice can vary between 10 mins to over an hour depending on how I feel and what I've got on but it's a routine that helps me feel better and know that the rest of my day will flow better. Often in the mornings I don't feel like practicing and force myself to get up and commit to only 10 minutes, I want to spend longer on my mat.
There are more scientifc studies emerging which confirm the benefits of medtation. A regular meditation practice can help reduce stress, anxiety, mood disorders and physical pain. This Sudy shows it can also help to improve cognitive function and slow down the aging process of the brain.
A meditation practice is something you can use anywhere at any time in a variety of ways.
Practice guided meditations
In the past I used Headspace and completed 10 minutes of meditation for 10 days. Now I use insight timer, most of the time I just use the timer but on days where I'm feeling more stressed or my head is racing, I'll use the guided meditations.
Practice Breathing Techniques (Pranayama)
Focussing on your breath can help prepare the mind for meditation. It sends a signal to the vagus nerve to relax the nervous system and bring the mind and body to a place of calm.
Abdominal breathing - Focus sending your breath down into your abdomen feeling your belly and ribs expand.
Put it in your diary, if it's not scheduled into your day chances are other things will take over.
Starting a mediation practice in my option should be something we all do and teach our children to do. It's mobile you can do it anywhere, anytime.
Join us for our yoga & brunch morning on Saturday 27th May which is focussed on a moving meditation in our yoga practice, then I'll be sharing some meditation practices you can try at home.