Meditation – 10 tips to get started

Can’t seem to sit silent with your eyes closed? Don’t worry because you are not alone. Here are a few simple steps to follow as a beginner to meditation. As you become regular with the practice, you are sure to go deeper and deeper. So, let’s get started with these 10 tips for meditation.

1. Choose a convenient time – Meditation is essentially relaxation time, so it should be done entirely at your convenience. Choose a time when you know you are not likely to be disturbed and are free to relax and enjoy. The hours of sunrise and sunset, while nature transitions between day and night, are also ideal for the practice.

2. Choose a quiet place – Just like a convenient hour, choose a place where you not likely to be disturbed. Quiet and peaceful surroundings can make the meditation experience more enjoyable and relaxing

3. Sit comfortably – Your posture makes a difference too. Make sure you are relaxed, comfortable and steady. Sit straight with your spine erect; keep your shoulders and neck relaxed, and eyes closed throughout the process. That you have to sit in Padmasana (the lotus position) to meditate is a very common myth of meditation.

4. Keep a relatively empty stomach – A good time to meditate is before having a meal. After food, you might doze off while meditating. However, do not force yourself to meditate when you are very hungry. You will find it difficult because of hunger cramps or you may even keep thinking about food the whole time! In this case, you can meditate after two hours of having food.

5. Start with a few warm-ups – A few warm-up or sukshma yoga exercises before sitting to meditate helps improve circulation, removes inertia and restlessness and makes the body feel lighter. You will be able to sit steadily for a longer time.

6. Take a few deep breaths – This is again preparation for easy meditation. Deep breathing in and out as well as doing some nadi shodhan pranayama before meditating is always a good idea. This helps to steady the rhythm of the breath and leads the mind to a peaceful meditative state.

7. Keep a gentle smile on your face – You will see the difference. A gentle smile throughout keeps you relaxed, peaceful and enhances your meditation experience.

8. Turn on a guided meditation – As a beginner to the practice, it is a good idea to do guided meditation. This will help you get started. You only need to close your eyes, relax, follow the instructions as you hear them and just enjoy the experience.

9. Open your eyes slowly and gently – As you come close to the end of the meditation, don’t be in a hurry to open your eyes and start moving about. Open your eyes slowly and gradually and take time to become aware of yourself and your surroundings.

10. Experience the freshness and enjoy your day – Meditation is like an instant energy booster. A few minutes off your daily schedule to charge you up for the rest of the day. Take that time out and experience the wonders of meditation for yourself.

Source: Pritika Nair, www.artofliving.org

Image: Getty Images

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