One of the main reasons people start meditating is to seek inner peace and protection from everyday stress.
It is true that one of the wonderful benefits of practicing meditation is mental clarity and wellbeing.
However, getting started in meditation can be frustrating if you don't have good guidance.
When you first sit down to meditate, you can expect your mind to wander. Your mind will be flooded with thoughts and expectations, which in turn will remember other thoughts, what to do after meditation and so on. You will quickly find yourself "somewhere else".
The most important thing is to approach meditation with a correct attitude, as if you want to approach a loved one gently and kindly. Sometimes we also need to follow certain guidelines.
Here are 18 tips to start meditating that I followed during my practice:
1 – Take a comfortable position
Adjust your position, you need to make your body feel comfortable, but not too relaxed, or you will fall asleep.
You can try sitting cross-legged on the floor, perhaps on a pillow. You can sit in a chair with your palms down.
Make sure the base of your posture is as wide and stable as possible, and that your spine is straight but not rigid.
If you notice that your body is not allowing you to sit for too long, you can carefully try doing some hatha yoga poses to loosen up a little before you begin.
2- Meditation is always perfect, no matter what, as long as it is a constant practice
Once you start practicing, it is important to stick with it.
You may not notice any immediate benefits, but consistency is slowly helping to calm the mind and you will find that starting your sessions becomes easier and easier.
It is important to relax the body so that meditation can be as effortless as possible.
Just 5 minutes a day (at the beginning) will give you the consistency of the exercise and slowly you can increase the length of your sessions.
3 – You should be clear about your intention to meditate
Always ask yourself why I am meditating today. This helps avoid making it a mechanical act of consciously expressing your intention and focusing your mind on it.
4 – It's easier if you pay attention to your breath first
Begin each exercise by breathing, taking deep breaths in and out slowly, and watch for the flow of breath entering and exiting your nostrils.
5 – “Letting go” is the key word, you need to let go of all your worries
You will think about it later!
There are times when you find yourself frustrated and sitting down to meditate. This is because all sorts of thoughts come to the surface as you try to relax.
What we have to do is let them float, not walk with them. Don't try to stop her, let her go.
Always return to your breath when you find yourself wandering with your mind.
6 – Choose your place to meditate where you feel safe and comfortable
A room at home or just your favorite pillow.
Try to choose a quiet room where you don't have a lot of electronic devices.
7 – Create holiness in your meditation room
You can dim the lights or light some candles. You can use incense if you find it convenient.
Relaxing essential oils (like lavender) can help you relax and be more comfortable.
8 – Prepare to avoid being distracted
You can warn those who live with you not to disturb you, to turn off your mobile phone or to put it in silent mode.
This is a moment for you.
9 – Listen to your body
As you begin to watch your breathing, consciously try to feel every part of your body.
Perhaps start with your feet in the lower half.
It is not necessary to physically touch the body parts. just feel it.
Then move your attention from your feet to your ankles, calves, and so on.
This will help you relax a lot.
10 – Discipline in Practice
Practice with discipline and consistency.
You should keep your practice consistent every day. If you can't find 5-10 minutes a day, it means you need to rearrange your day a bit to define your priorities with a fresh perspective.
11 – Start meditating slowly
Start meditating with a set time for your practice. Even 5 minutes at the beginning is enough.
It is very convenient for me to set a timer and keep it close even if I meditate for a few more minutes while the doorbell rings
12 – Read a book on meditation
There are many books on meditation that can give you practical advice and maybe you can look it up in the bookstore or on the internet.
13 – Listen to guided meditations
There are many audio CDs available or you can find many guided meditation videos. A phrasebook is very useful when you are having trouble clearing your mind. It allows you to focus on your voice and let go of your thoughts.
14 – Experiment with different techniques
There are many ways to start meditating, there are different techniques for entering meditation, and different types of meditation as well. You have to find the one that suits you best for your mind. So in the beginning, it's good to explore as many as possible. Experimenting with different techniques can also be great fun. As Sally Kampton also says, we can play with practice.
15 – Let go of any expectation
Each person has their own way of meditating and the benefits will come in very different ways. Meditation is a personal practice, so don't let other people's experiences influence you. This is not a competition. Remember that there is no right or wrong meditation, there is only meditation.
16 – Find the right time of day for you
Meditating in the morning is perfect to start the day, but there isn't a single moment to practice, you can find the time that is most convenient for you. In some periods I happened to meditate at 4 a.m., in others I preferred to meditate after lunch. Listen to yourself and meditation will call you when you are best available.
17 – Always leave meditation slowly
This makes it easier for you to type again next time. You don't have to stop meditation abruptly. Always take a few minutes before you open your eyes again and become aware of your body and space again.
18 – Express gratitude for your practice
At the end of the meditation, thank your mind, your body and yourself for allowing yourself this moment.
Gratitude gives you the opportunity to experience the gifts of meditation.
This article is a translation of La Scimmia Yoga.
La Scimmia Yoga offers a variety of resources and video courses for the yoga community in Italy.