8 Meditation Tips For Beginners
Meditation can be a very intimidating practice especially if it’s a completely new realm to you. You may think you don’t have the knowledge or tools to get what your supposed to be getting out of it. Or maybe you feel you don’t have the time to dedicate (which we completely understand). But the beautiful thing about meditation is there are no set rules and your practice can be whatever it needs to be for you. You can meditate inside or outside, sitting up or laying down, listening to a guided practice or completely silent. It can be while you are walking or dancing, it can be with others or alone, it can be for a single moment throughout your busy day or an hour long practice.
The following tips are guidelines to get you started, but take what serves you and throw away the rest. All we ask is you give it a try and see how much it can truly change your life.
Start small: Starting anything, whether it be hitting the gym, writing daily, or practicing meditation, you have to have to build on it slowly. Begin with just 5 minutes a day - you’d be surprised just how much a few moments of breath work can change your day and your life.
Focus on your breathing: Begin by focusing on your intentional breath. By breathing slowly and matching the length of your inhale and exhale, you will naturally start to slow your nervous system down and create a relaxed state of mind.
Set time aside: Choose a time of day that suits your needs. Whether that be first thing in the morning, or before you go to bed, find a time that works for you and your schedule that will be consistent. Making that time for yourself each day will set you up for success and help to keep you on track.
Recognize your thoughts: It is very normal for your thoughts to flood in when you’re just starting up, and even through many years of practice. Our minds are very active, so don’t be hard on yourself if you begin thinking about the stress of your day or the list of tasks you need to finish.. The best practice is to recognize that those thoughts are there - acknowledge them and then send them on their way as your refocus on your breath.
Create your space: Meditation can be done anywhere - in your living room, on a bus, or even in a busy airport (we’ve tried them all!) but it does help to create a space that allows you to go deeper and feel more comfortable. Thoughtfully choose a spot that you can consistently use that is quiet and private, like a spare bedroom or a corner in the living room. Add components to your space that allow you to feel focused and relaxed such as meditation cushions, candles, plants, or sacred items that suit your belief system. Create a space for yourself that makes you feel at home, safe, and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
Get comfortable: Meditation is not only a task for the mind, but the body as well, and a lot of the time it can be very demanding on our limbs and muscles. If you choose to meditate while sitting, you’d be surprised how taxing it can be on your knees, hips, back and chest so get comfortable! Especially if you choose to be in a longer sitting. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and use something to keep you warm as your body temperature will likely drop as you relax. Use cushions to prop up your knees and provide relief to your hips, or use a chair to lean on to provide support for your back.
Track your progress: There are tons of wonderful (and free) tools out there to help you stay on track and record your progress. By doing so, this will help you to see the growth you’ve had throughout your journey and keep you accountable. The more you record your practice, the more you will want to achieve and grow.
Be kind to yourself: Lastly, but most importantly - be kind to yourself. There will be days where you will struggle through your practice, break your focus, or you may not even what to practice at all, but whatever the case may be, just remember to forgive yourself. It’s not an easy feat and you’re going to make mistakes, but be sure to speak to yourself with words of love and encouragement. All we can truly ask of ourselves is to try.