“Meditation is painful in the beginning but it bestows immortal Bliss and supreme joy in the end.” – Swami Sivananda
Practicing meditation can sometimes be a difficult task. I find it difficult to squeeze meditation after a long and stressful day. The constant bombardment of emails, meetings and deadlines hijack my mind.
Its small things that cause stress. Having this stress for a long period of time affects our mental and physical health. Sometimes you don’t want to hit the gym or go for a run after a stressful day. Watching TV is more appealing.
Meditation is a great way of bringing your life to balance.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is amazing for your health
Meditation helps your body heal faster. The act of sitting or lying in one location and focusing on the breath helps your body recover. This is the exact same process that occurs while you are sleeping but instead of sleeping you are aware of your body during meditation.
Meditation is therapeutic
One of the reasons meditation has become famous is in the Western countries is because of its ability to reduce stress. Stress has a negative effect on our mental health because it fills our mind with negative thoughts. It also takes over our physical body with feelings of anxiety and sometimes panics.
Mindful meditation brings the negative thoughts into your awareness. The negative thoughts or patterns can then be challenged and changed. If you ever find yourself stressed, mad, anxious, insecure then mindful meditation can help bring your situation into proper perspective.
4 simple ways to practice meditation
1. Comfortable Posture
Sit cross legged or lie down. I prefer to sit in an upright position with my back flat against a wall for assistance. Sitting in an upright posture helps my mind stay alert and awake during meditation. There have been many times where I tried meditating in a corpse pose (lying flat on your back with your arms to the side) but fell asleep as soon as I closed my eyes. There are many meditation techniques but choose something that is comfortable for you.
There is no exact posture that you should sit in, but the most common one is sitting cross legged and your back is upright. If you are at work then sitting upright in your work chair will suffice.
2. Connect with your body
Start to bring different parts of your body into your awareness. Do this by focusing on specific body parts. Start focusing on the feelings at your feet then move up slowly to your head.
Each time you bring a body part into awareness make sure you feel the sensations as well. Are you wearing jeans? Do they feel heavy? Are your socks comfortable on your feet?
Connecting to your body helps you escape from the mental thoughts that run through your mind. The thoughts in your mind just feed the ego and create a world that is plagued by different perception. Creating the connection brings you back to the present moment in your life and stops the perpetual negative cycle.
3. Follow the breath
Breathing is the easiest also the hardest task to do in meditation. You are probably laughing because you breath all the time. That’s why you are alive after all, right? But do you remember the last time you inhaled deeply? Do you recall how cold or warm the air war?
The basic principle in meditation is about focusing on the breath. Breathing is the only thing that keeps your body alive. In meditation the breath should be inhaled deep into the belly and exhaled through the mouth. You can also look at other simple breathing techniques.
Meditation is about patience, so do not be concerned with “getting” right away. A lot of people give up early in meditation, stating that “it” does not work.
There is no magic moment where you feel that meditation is working. Distractions, frustrations and thoughts are all part of meditation. Meditation is about being present in the moment and letting go of any judgment. So stop worrying about doing meditation “right”.
Am I missing any other tips for practicing meditation?