How To Start Meditating

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Here's why I am such a big fan of meditation:

When I meditate my day goes better.  I have more energy and I feel less stress. I am more creative and focused in my work. I am more compassionate with myself and others. Meditation, even ten minutes in the morning gives me a sense of ease and positivity that carries me through the day.

Many of my clients resist starting meditation because they they "don't have time", they “can’t sit still” or they don't think they are "doing it right".

I can totally relate to all of those challenges! For years, I just dabbled with my meditation practice. I KNEW that meditation was an important key to my overall health and wellness, in the same way that exercise and nutrition are essential components.  But I didn't have the same powerful habits in place for daily meditation as I did for my exercise and nutrition routines.  Creating the HABIT was the key for me to finally start meditating daily even though I had tried a million times before. 

My practice is super simple:

I wake up an hour earlier than the rest of my family.  (Don't worry,  You can meditate at any time of day that works for you!)  It just works best for me first thing in the morning, and I find that I am more rested after meditation, than if I got that extra hour of sleep.  I get a cup of coffee, and sit down in the same spot every day, spine aligned, legs crossed.  I bring my attention to my breath.  Sometimes I use a mantra like 'So Hum', if my mind is really wandering around and I need to gently steer it back to my breath. My goal is to meditate for 5 minutes, but I usually sit for 20-30 minutes.  That's it!

Here's how to get started:

  • Get Settled: Find a quiet place where you can relax.

  • Breathe deeply: Take five deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth, on the last exhalation, close your eyes.

  • Check in: Settle into your body. Align your posture and take notice of how your body feels.

  • Scan your body: Turn your mind inwards and take note of your body from head to toe, acknowledging any tension, and relax those areas. Then turn to your thoughts, notice what comes up without trying to alter them.

  • Bring your attention to your breathing: You can count each breath, one (in), two (out), three (in) and so on, or use a mantra. If you notice your mind wandering just gently bring your mind back to the counting or the mantra

Sometimes, I listen to meditation music on Pandora.

Sometimes, I use guided meditations.  Here are a few resources that I love:

I have a sweet, 5 minute gratitude meditation on my blog:  Practicing Gratitude

On the rare occasion that I do miss my practice - I am just not at my best.  But don't just take my word for it!  There is plenty of scientific evidence that suggests that meditation affects the brain and the body in positive ways;  Check out the research in the articles below:

What does your meditation practice look like? (Don’t worry if it’s not consistent). Or what questions do you have about meditation? I would love to hear from you!

Peace & deep breaths,

Lisa  

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