How to Meditate for Beginners
Post Date: October 4, 2015
Meditation is in a crucial part of our practice of yoga. It is the part of yoga that allows the body, mind and spirit to connect without the rigorous movements of Hatha yoga. In meditation we learn to “be” in stillness. We learn the importance of simply being present in the moment. As our thoughts come and go, we allow ourselves to take note of our breathing and look inward toward our own infinite wisdom.
You don’t need fancy pillows, pats, music, candles or any other objects. You simply need a relatively quiet space, your breath and your body. Sit in a comfortable position in a chair, on a pillow or on the floor. Then often your gaze or close your eyes. Come to your breath and place your hands on your knees. The yoga sutras say the mind becomes quiet and the body becomes still during meditation. Remember that sitting in a chair with both feet paced on the ground and hands on your knees is just as “right” as sitting in lotus positioned with hands in Anjali or Jnana mudra.
One should be comfortable during mediation. Find a comfortable seated posture on a chair or on the floor. A comfortable accessible posture is an important foundation. Allow your spine to become straighten and your neck to lengthen. Then close your eyes or soften your gaze. Then begin to focus on your breath. There is no need to regulate or change your breath pattern. The mind may not be “blank” completely, but you can observe the thoughts and let the pass through. Observe thoughts the way you observe an ant on the ground, you are not the ant, but you watch it come and go without interfering or worrying about the ant. If you find your mind obsessing over the “scurrying thoughts”, come back to your breath.
Over time, you’ll notice a pattern of your thoughts and be able to come back to the thought of your breath more easily. Meditation is expansive and can get extremely involved however to avoid frustration and wasted money or effort, start simply. Focus on your breath, soften your gaze or close your eyes and allow thoughts to pass though. Observe the feeling of the air around you, the ground, and your breath. Meditation takes a while to learn. It’s nothing that can be truly mastered, however we can treat mediation as an unending journey within ourselves. We can always go deeper into ourselves, or higher and closer to the divine union. The key is to be content with where we are at the present moment, that’s how we begin to learn to meditate.
About the author: Lauren is a yoga teacher, Pilates enthusiast, military wife, painter and coffee connoisseur. Lauren is a Registered Yoga Teacher. She also has a degree in psychology from Howard University. She enjoys teaching trauma sensitive yoga, hatha yoga, guided meditation, and yoga for special populations. It is her intention to bring yoga to places and to people who don’t always get to be exposed to yoga. She’s a Southern Belle by birth, East Coast girl at heart, and currently vegan living in Texas.
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