10 Quick & Useful Tips to Start Your Meditation Practice
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Many people think that meditation is very easy, others find it very complex and difficult. The truth is that it all depends on our mental state. If you are overactive and your mind is restless, meditating could be very frustrating.
In such situations, many of us quit after a few minutes of practice and say ''Meditation is not for me''. But truth be told, in my experience, these are exactly the persons who would get even greater benefits from meditation.
If you identify with this group of people, be positive and give it a persistent try. You just need a little patience and regular practice to find inner peace and harmony.
The following meditation tips are very helpful if you want to get started with meditation:
1. Getting Started
If you're just starting out with meditation, be patient. In the beginning, your mind will jump from one thought to another, just as a monkey. It is a natural condition. After some time and practice, you will find peace and tranquillity. Do not fight your mind, take your time to arrive on the mat and to disconnect from your daily routine. If you still find it too difficult, here are 5 meditation tips if you have an overactive mind.
Always remember: It is important to enjoy the process of meditation.
In theory, the best time to meditate is around sunrise or sunset, when the atmosphere is charged with powerful magnetic vibrations. However, if you can't meditate at this specific time, just find another calm moment for yourself, when nothing and nobody will disturb your practice.
Try meditating every day at the same time; this will help you to get a stable rhythm and to find your moment of peace and harmony. Some of us prefer the morning, others the evening. Find what feels good for you.
You can sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Make sure that your back, spine, and neck are straight. Start sitting just a little each day. If you don't sit straight, your mind will drift and your pranic energy won’t flow from the lower to the higher chakras. Use a mudra to make sure your pranic energy can flow without interruption.
If your body is balanced and calmed, your mind will also be in balance and calm. Do not sit with the back against a wall and don't lie on the ground, as the pranic energy will be absorbed through de wall and floor instead of flowing freely throughout the body.
Image credit: Toshimasa via Flickr.
You can keep your eyes closed or open. Keeping your eyes open will allow you to be more present. Just lower your eyes, look over the tip of your nose to the ground and relax the eyelids.
You could use a candle and gaze at the flame. When you feel relaxed and stable, close your eyes and imagine the flame in your mind.
Meditation is a wonderful practice to be focused in the present moment. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to the object of meditation.
If a sound disturbs your meditation, do not associate it with noise, which has a negative connotation and leads to irritation or anger. Instead of noise, become aware of the sounds of life, which do not belong to you and which have no importance at all for you. They simply show you at which point you are with your meditation.
In advanced meditation, you would not be aware of the senses or any sounds.
6. The breath
Paying attention to the breath is crucial in keeping your connection with the present moment.
Notice your natural breath in the nostrils, feel the change of temperature with every inhalation and exhalation. If you are having difficulties, you can try counting the breath, which is a meditation practice in itself. Here you can check out some Pranayama exercises that could help you control your breath.
If your mind is jumping, gently try to return your focus to the breath or a mantra.
Don’t fight your mind or thoughts. This will just make you feel frustrated. Instead, just let it be and turn back your attention to your breathe or mantra.
Alternatively, you can imagine a cloud in the sky, stuff your thoughts into the cloud and send the cloud away, then bring your mind back to the object of meditation or to the breath. Do this 1,000 times if needed. You will see that, after a while, the mind distractions come to an end.
If you have strong uncontrolled emotions, it is impossible to meditate.
Emotions lead to mind-movies. Anger, shame, and fear create stories which will trap you and your mind. The way to deal with emotions is to focus on the feelings that accompany the emotion.
For example, if you feel anger and heat in the belly, let go of the story behind and just focus on the feeling in your belly. Use your breath. With every exhalation, release that heat. This way, you become aware of your body but not trapped in the story behind the emotion.
You can deal with all emotions this way!
Start with meditation for 5 to 10 minutes twice a day. Ideally, just before you start your day in the morning and before you head to bed.
Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you don't feel ready. After some time, extend your meditation to 20 to 25 minutes once a day.
You can also try guided meditations if you find it challenging to focus in silence, there are many free sources available online.
It’s helpful to have a separate room or create a special corner for your meditation.
Use a little table for a candle, flower, picture of a saint, etc. Tell others in your household to respect this space. As you fill the space with peace and positive energy, you can use it whenever you need a moment to disconnect or if you have any conflict to handle.
Remember that peace and silence, however simple they are, have healing powers.
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