How-To … Meditate Edition
Meditation for Beginners + Expert Tips
Maybe you landed here from my previous post Benefits of Meditation, or maybe you are just looking into getting into meditation. Either way, you came to the right place. This is not a post describing meditation in super detail, rather, it is a guide on how to get into it. Call it a Beginner’s Guide to Meditation, if you will. If you are wondering the benefits and wonders that meditating can do for you, your mind, and your body, click on the link above to be amazed.
First things first, you will need something to sit on. Most people opt for a Zafu, also known as, a meditation cushion. This is the most common method, but not necessary by any means. You can also use a chair, bench, or really anything to get started! My advice is to start on a chair or a bench if you have one, and over a week’s time, you will find what is best for you. If you have back problems or pain, your best bet will be to use a backed chair for the support.
The next thing you will need is a timer. This one is fairly important, as you don’t want to be focusing on time at all. If you have a smart phone, there are a variety of meditation apps that you can scroll through that are free. If you don’t have a smartphone, a simple Google search should come up with tons of results.
The last thing you will need is YOU! You are the most important part of this, as it is your mind and body that you will be adhering to. From here, take your seat and prepare yourself for a relaxing time. One thing to take note of is your back position. Keep your back straight. This is for a variety of reasons. Firstly, your posture is important to your breathing. Secondly, you want to be relaxed, yet attentive, and this will do just that.
From here, you will be focusing on your breathing and thinking. When I say focus on your thinking, you are actually going to focus on not thinking. Try to let your mind take a break and utilize your thinking to focus on your breathing. When I say focus on breathing, I mean just that. Whether it be how you are breathing, slow breathing, or how long each breath is, just focus on it. Try breathing through your nose if you can, as this will slow it down naturally, and make it much easier to control. Lastly, if having your eyes open distracts you, you can start with your eyes closed. Don’t worry about anything at this stage, you can always change things later and improve other things as you go. Here are a few tips as well:
- Don’t overthink it. It is a simple practice that you should keep as simple as possible.
- If your mind starts to take a stroll, focus on getting it back on track to not thinking as much, if at all.
- Try to set a schedule each day for yourself. Without setting aside 30 minutes or so each day, your schedule becomes vulnerable, and something like meditation can be easy to cut out of the day. This should be the last thing you are taking out of your schedule, since it can truly improve your mind and body.
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Kim Shapira MS, RD