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Meditation for Beginners

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[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The world we live in today tends to get a little hectic, and even when we have a few moments of downtime, we scroll through Facebook or check e-mails. By doing this, our brains continue to process information for the majority of our waking hours, hardly allowing any time to sift through the information to keep what serves us and rid of what no longer does.

So how do we turn this off? Why is meditation important to “reset” our minds?

WHY MEDITATE?

TruFusion instructor Amy Raven says that meditating is like cleaning the hard drive of your computer. By allowing thoughts to arise naturally and fade away just as easily, we determine what is important to us and what we can let go.

Besides helping clear our minds, meditation relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and lowers anxiety. It also helps to eliminate the stress hormone cortisol and creates serotonin and oxytocin, the happiness and love hormones.

WHAT DO I DO?

While there are different levels of meditation, the goal of meditation is enhanced consciousness. The idea is to become aware of your thoughts and to learn to be present in the moment. You want to surrender to the flow of your mind, letting your thoughts arise naturally and drift away just as easily. Try not to focus on any one idea, but rather notice what comes into your mind and then let it pass. Learn to become aware of when you concentrate too long on one idea and shift your attention back to your breath or how your body feels in that moment.

For those who have never attempted to meditate before, it can be tough getting started. Raven suggests saying “let” during a six second inhale and “go” during a six to eight second exhale. Alternatively, say “so” while inhaling and “hum” during exhalation. Meaning “I am” in Sanskrit, this is the more traditional phrase. Focusing on either of these expressions, whether out loud or in your head, helps to clear the mind and create peace.

WHEN SHOULD I MEDITATE?

It is important to note that you do not need to be in a seated position to meditate, and it does not have to be for an extended period of time. Try meditating for five minutes first thing in the morning before reaching for your phone. Simply lie in bed paying attention to thoughts that arise, recounting the dreams you had the night before, or setting intentions for your day. Doing this in the morning helps foster peace and focus for your entire day. At night, turn off the TV a few minutes early to lie peacefully, quieting the mind before falling asleep.

Because your body and mind are already relaxed, right after a yoga session is another great time to meditate. If you do not have enough time for an entire session, simply holding child’s pose for a few moments allows the body and mind to relax before beginning meditation.

But do not feel limited to any one time of day. Anytime you feel the need, set aside even just a few moments to pay attention to your breath, dissipating stress and bringing focus and serenity to the moment.

While meditation can seem intimidating, just like any sport or talent, it gets easier with practice. If you are having difficulty on your own, try guided meditations on YouTube or with an instructor. As you become more comfortable, try an extended period of time or a different setting. It comes down to what serves you best; remember that your practice is your practice.

Raven said about meditation, “It’s important to remember that it is not a goal; it is a being… to discover that you are perfect just as you are. You are made with everything you need. You are made completely divine.”

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