In this 3 part series I am going to take you back to basics.
Session 1 - Breath
Session 2 - Asana (postures)
Session 3 - Meditation and awareness
The idea behind this is to strip it all back and feel confident in our practice, wether that’s at home or in a class. It’s important we know the fundamentals before we progress in our practice. When we are born we don’t immediately start running , we to learn how to crawl, then walk and THEN run. Be confident with the basics and your practice will have a whole new feeling.
So here it is……
Meditation as many health benefits, physical, mental and emotional. It has been scientifically proven to calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, regulate your emotional state and help increase mental focus.
Meditation can be practiced by anyone who is willing to give it a go.
I hear all the time ‘ I’m too busy to meditate’ that’s like saying i’m too dirty to wash. One of the key takeaways of meditation is to HELP with the busyness of the mind.
Yes its hard and at the start can be slightly frustrating however after a few tries you find an inner peace and state of calm. You start to notice small changes in your everyday life. Like when someone cuts you off when driving or your device isn’t working, instead of reacting straight away you approach the situation with a sense of calm and ease.
Our minds are in a constant state of activity throughout our daily lives. Mostly everyone has difficulty quietening their mind and suffer from incessant thinking and do you know what?…….. ITS EXHAUSTING.
When you first begin to meditate you become aware of how restless the thinking mind really is and it can get overwhelming and lead to a feeling of agitation, so the practitioner tries to get rid of the mental activity or suppress it. Allow everything to be as it is. If your mind is busy and jumping from one thought to the next just be aware of it. Don’t try to control it. Every time a thought comes up, notice it and mentally repeat “interesting” and then go back to focusing on the breath or whatever technique it is that you are using.
It’s important to try and sit upright and find stillness during meditation. If you are experiencing physical pain or significant discomfort well then simply adjust your body and then come back to a relaxed state. In saying this, if you adjust your body every time the mind is restless you will never be able to reach that inner state of peace because you're continuously causing what I like to call 'a circuit break'. So notice when you're just getting uncomfortable or when you really do need to make an adjustment because of reasons like you can’t feel your foot or your back is in pain. Feel free to sit on a cushion, your bed, a chair, lean against a wall anything that feels good for you while keeping the spine tall and straight.
Most of us spend so much time and energy living in our minds and getting consumed by thoughts that we never really live in our bodies. In meditation we want to bring awareness to the body. Before you begin focusing on your breath, or mantra or whatever technique you are using, start by bringing awareness to your body. Feel the cushion on the chair, feel the contact between your feet and the floor or legs and the floor. Allow your body to relax and surrender into the support beneath you, giving yourself full permission to let go and be present in the moment.
We live in a culture where the majority of the time people are self critical, it’s essential that we are kind, compassionate and gentle toward ourselves. When you are in a meditation and begin to notice the restless nature of the mind or when harsh or critical thoughts come up, observe them. Don’t criticise or judge but simply witness them and gently with love and compassion bring your focus back to the breath. Even repeating affirmations can have a huge impact on our mental state eg. ‘I am doing the best I can’ ‘I love myself’ ‘I accept myself and where I am right now’.
So here is a simple guided mediation that will help you get started or if you have lost your practice is nice and gentle way to ease back into it. Use these tips and please let me know how you get on. Reach out, send me a message, I would love to connect with you and hear about your journey. Any questions, you know here I am.
Sending love and light