Learning how to Meditate

602378_10151242291467342_648955251_nMeditation is a simple but life-transforming skill and taking as little as 10 – 15 minutes a day to practice breathing meditation can help you to overcome stress and find inner peace and balance.

Busy schedules and the quick pace of life can make us  feels like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done never mind find time to sit still and meditate.

But practicing meditation actually gives you more time because it helps to make your mind calmer and more focused.

I believe that what we set in motion will stay in motion. Its been said that it takes about 30 days to establish a habit. What might start out being a chore can become a path to self discovery and empowerment. Once you learn the basics of how to meditate it becomes easier and also can help you feel more relaxed.

th1Here are a few basic steps to get you started:

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for 15 minutes or longer. Sit comfortably on the floor with your hands resting on your lap. You can sit cross-legged with the support of a meditation cushion or bolster, or you can sit in a chair with your feet resting on the ground. Also if you have a back problem sitting with your back against the wall will help you to feel supported.

Breathe slowly and deeply. Close your eyes  and begin by taking a few slow and deep breaths — inhaling through the nose and exhaling from the mouth. Let the breath come naturally. The first few intakes of air are likely to be shallow, but as you allow more air to fill your lungs each time, your breaths will gradually become deeper and fuller.

Awareness. When you are breathing deeply, you’ll begin to feel calmer and more relaxed. That’s a good sign. Keep your focus on your breathing. Be aware of each breath that you take in through your nose. Be mindful of each breath that you exhale with your mouth.

If you find your attention straying away from your breaths, just gently bring it back. It may happen many times. Don’t get discouraged or be hard on yourself.  The key is awareness and bringing yourself back to concentrating on the breath. As you become more proficient it will become easier to concentrate.

Completing the session. When you are ready to finish, open your eyes and just remain sitting for a moment. Stretch your legs and feet out, wiggle your toes and then slowly begin to stand.

A few quick tips to make your meditation practice easier:

*Keep yourself warm with a blanket or shawl during meditation.

*Meditating with an empty or full stomach may be distracting or even uncomfortable. Make sure there’s something in your tummy, but not so much that you feel distracted while sitting. It’s always best to keep a light snack in your gym bag – like a piece of fruit or a power bar.

*Some people find it easier to meditate with light music in the background, while others prefer total silence. Either way you choose is fine. You will want to find music that will calm you down and not distract you from your practice. A favorite here at the Martial Arts studio is called “Zen Breakfast.”

*Use a meditation timer or any countdown timer. It tells you your time is up without you having to think about it constantly. You can use the timer that’s built into your mobile phone or digital watch.

We would like for everyone to experience the great benefits of meditation and we are offering a Meditation class on Wednesday evenings from 7:45 to 8:15 p.m. at United Martial Arts Center for Health & Well Being on 20 Locust Street in Danvers MA.

For more information, please call (978) 762-0454.

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