2020 May 20
Meditation is easily one of the things that most of us have wanted to try out but never got around to actually doing. In most of our minds, meditation is deemed complicated, confusing and hard to grasp, but in reality, it is one of the most simple practices that bring a plethora of benefits. We can all agree that we live through a world full of problems that formulate stress and mental agony up to a point where some of us don’t even know what peace of mind or calmness of the mind even means, as most of us have not experienced such serenity.
We spoke to Entrepreneur and Art of Living Teacher, Anagha Samant, who has been practicing meditation for over 20 years, with hopes of providing you with some practical tips that might make your start in the journey of meditation, smoother and easier. Here’s what she had to say.
Make time to meditate
One of the main excuses that we give ourselves as to why we haven’t started meditating, is that we don’t have enough time to meditate. And it may be true, most of us carry out our days with a jam-packed schedule that sometimes makes us feel like we don’t even have time to breathe. Nevertheless, ask yourself this question. No matter how busy your day is, have you ever not given priority to dental hygiene, to brush your teeth daily, twice a day? Just like we give priority to our dental hygiene, we should also be giving priority to our mental hygiene as well.
You could start meditating for 5-10 minutes and then gradually increase the time that you meditate, as your body gets more and more accustomed to the process of meditating. This will also help ease meditation into your daily routine.
Choose a quiet time of your day to meditate
The lesser the distractions, the easier it is for you to meditate. Early mornings, before you start your stressful day or evenings after you’ve ended your stressful day, are the best times for you to meditate. If you have a family to take care of, siblings or other commitments during your evenings, then try to wake up early morning and meditate for some time when everyone else is still asleep.
Carry out a light exercise before you meditate
Carrying out light exercises like yoga, surya namaskar, stretching, even jogging or skipping for a few minutes before you start to meditate will help get endorphins like dopamine and serotonin flowing, in order to improve your mood before you meditate. Conducting an exercise will also get the muscles in your body all worked up, making it easier for you to sit down in one place for a prolonged period of time with minimum muscle aches.
Sit in a comfortable position
When meditating you could sit on a chair, a yoga mat, or a stool; anywhere that is comfortable to you. Make sure to keep your posture in place, and your spine erect. When sitting on the floor, you could also place a soft cushion under your hip in a way that your knees are in a lower angle than your hip, in order to help you sit in one place for a longer period of time.
Use guided meditation as a helping hand for you to meditate
It’s always easier to start something new and unfamiliar to you when you have a guide to help you through the process. So in this case, listening to a recording that guides you through your meditation process will help you get into the groove of meditation. You could play guided meditation videos on YouTube and obtain help from the voice in the recording to pay attention to the process of meditation.
Observe your breathwork
Observing your breathing is one of the simplest ways of meditating. Breathing is the most important action that is required for us to survive and it is the action that we take for granted the most. You don’t have to concentrate or focus on your breathing but observe the way you breathe in and out, and at what intervals. Breathing is also very much tied to our emotions. We breathe differently when we feel different emotions. When we are happy, anxious, frustrated, angry, excited; our breathwork is different with each emotion. Observing your breathing will help you relax slowly and bring your attention to one place, gradually.
Refrain from putting in too much effort to meditate
Have you ever come across situations where you force yourself to do something, and it just doesn’t happen? But when you carry out the same action in a more relaxed state, you’re able to do it naturally. The same concept applies to meditation. It is very natural for our minds to start sprinting to so many different places while meditating and focusing on your breathwork. And you may feel frustrated when this happens. But meditation is not supposed to frustrate you, it’s supposed to instil calmness in your mind. Hence, when your mind starts running and producing a variety of different thoughts, realize that your mind is not paying attention to what you’re doing and bring it back to what you are supposed to be paying attention to. This may happen a countless number of times in the beginning, but whenever it happens, realize that this is a natural characteristic of your mind and bring it back to what needs to be focused on, when you’re meditating.
Many people have created a myth about meditation in their minds that allows them to believe that meditation is only practised by people who live a simple, quiet life. But we are here to tell you that while meditating, you could live life to the fullest, reach for your goals, strive to achieve your dreams and have fun! Meditation will only help you live your life the way you want it to be, in a more stress-free and care-free manner. It will help you be in control of your emotions; so that whenever you experience negative situations, you will feel the emotions that you normally feel, but you may not dwell on your emotions.
Meditation is a process that requires practice to grasp, so keep continuing to meditate, even if it feels like it’s not working out for you during the first few times. Give yourself time to adjust to methods of meditation which best suite you.
The information in this article was derived from Entrepreneur and Art of Living Teacher, Anagha Samant.