Meditation is an area of yoga that fascinates me personally.
I believe if you’re not very busy you need to take an hour out to meditate. If you’re very busy then you need two!
I have many friends that get up at 5am, light a candle sit down to meditate and they swear by this morning ritual. And establishing a habit like this can hugely improve focus for the rest of the day.
Early morning is certainly a wonderful part of the day with no distractions, the world still asleep and the peace you need to clear your thoughts.
However, while I have every good intention, often when my alarm goes off 5.30am I can’t bring myself to leave my cosy warm bed and often snuggle under the duvet and continue to sleep!
If I wasn’t such a night owl this would probably be easier so I’m working on going to bed earlier to master this. After all, I don’t have any problems in getting up at 5am in India to meditate. So why is it so much harder in my own home?
I’ve learnt in my journey to meditation, that it helps to create a small area in your home that you return to that’s just for you. Your magical set up that allows you to feel safe, relaxed, with no distractions, ready to prepare the mental power.
Training the mind takes time and effort. Meditation isn’t about achieving a blank mind. In fact, we want to activate our intelligence and increase our awareness. It’s about acknowledging negative thoughts which come into the mind but pushing them away. It is about finding a way to focus the mind, stilling those endless thoughts spinning around in our heads and draining our energy and creating stress.
In the Ashtanga Patanjalis eight limbs of yoga, meditation is the seventh rishi. This is the practice through which we are able to connect with universal consciousness.
You can meditate with stillness, movement, sound or silence. I enjoy listening to a voice that leads you on a journey through forests, parks, beaches or colours of the rainbow.
Equally, I enjoy listening to chants. I close my eyes and follow the chants repeating over and over. This is my favourite because it allows me to focus on calming my mind. This really allows me to focus calming my mind, listening and singing along, thinking of nothing else. Only the present moment exists.
Focusing on a single object calms our mind naturally, making outer and inner distractions oblivious.
You can focus on the image OM and/or chant over and over sending vibrations into the body.
How to meditate:
Meditation can be done sitting on a chair, or legs crossed on the floor. Some prefer to sit on a cushion tilting the pelvis forward. Whichever position you chose, lengthen the spine with hands placed in a mudra or on the knees, lap or thighs. You must be comfortable.
Close your eyes and begin to calm the mind allowing thoughts to process and filter. Allow your mind to go where is wants to go and stay alert, vibrant and focused inward.
Over time you will find your stress levels will drop or diminish.
Other benefits to meditation include:
Reducing muscle tension and joint pain
Easing digestive problems
Preventing nervous exhaustion
Boosting the immune system.
Regular mediation will give you the energy and clarity you need to deal with the multiple demands of daily life.
My advice: Don’t make meditation a battle. No judgement. No ego. Just enjoy.