Meditation for Beginners: 10 Helpful Steps
Life at times can make us go into a state of stress and anxiety. The hectic zone we dwell in leaves us feeling exhausted, and absolutely isolated from the Self. Meditation is the best natural technique to trust.
The ancient practice of sitting peacefully in a place-- Meditation has the ability to slow down the racing thoughts, to calm the stressed brain, and to nourish the soul so that the equanimity can be transported to the body, mind, and spirit, and the healing touch of this practice can unfold on many deeper layers.
Several experts, health enthusiasts, and healers have intricately linked mental and emotional disturbances with physical ailments. Which means that frazzled minds are the leading cause of several problems like hypertension, depression, along with a host of health problems and chronic diseases.
Meditation is the prime route to enhance the positive feelings and health. Meditation allows the physical, mental, and spiritual body to break-free from all the stress and helps it to relax. The practice reduces the production of stress-related hormones and promotes the development of happiness hormones that elevates the mood of a person. Meditation is a natural healer that can effectively transform one’s health, state of mind, mood, and brings a heightened sense of harmony.
Given below are the four kinds of meditation that a beginner can practice for health and wellness:
1. Visualization Meditation: A practice performed by visualizing the body as healthy, vibrant, and peaceful.
2. Breath- Awareness Meditation: A simple and effective meditation technique to develop a better body-mind connection and to lower stress levels. Also, a useful practice to pay attention to the breathing patterns.
3. Mantra Meditation: A traditional practice to clear and focus the mind through the chanting of repetitive sounds like “Om.” Experience deeper levels of awareness and closer connection with your environment through this practice.
4. Metta Meditation: Popularly known as Loving-kindness meditation, it is a method to foster the feelings of Metta (love), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (joy), and Upekkha (equanimity). A worthwhile practice to transform negative sensations into positivity.
Here are 10 steps that shall guide you to the correct the way to practice the various meditation techniques.
1. Select a Comfortable Place: Firstly, select a place that is comfortable, spacious, and free from distractions so that you can peacefully take up the meditation. Choose an area that is neither too warm nor too cold for successful meditation practices.
2. Get comfortable: Secondly, find a comfortable position for yourself. Lie down or sit tall on a yoga mat or the ground with crossed legs. Keep the neck relaxed.
3. Relax the Body: Keep your eyes closed. Relax your entire body from head to toe. Make sure to relax your shoulders, neck, face, and back, the areas that tend to hold maximum stress. Become aware of your surroundings and do not react.
4. Breathe: Focus your attention towards your breath. Take deep, slow, and rhythmic breaths. Engage your full lung capacity to breathe but do not force the breath. Take a note of your breathing patterns.
5. Enchant a Mantra: Mantras are sacred sounds that spiritually affects your body and mind. Silently repeat the sounds like “Om” and experience transformational benefits. Mantras also provide you a point-of-focus.
6. Calm the Mind: As you focus on your breath or mantra, you shall begin to calm your mind. As thoughts come into your brain, simply acknowledge them and return your attention to your breath. Do not delve into your thoughts.
7. Develop a Loving Attitude: Turn your awareness inwards. Scan your body and observe any discomforts. Take a note of the thoughts that arise during meditation. Do not try to alter those. Instead, see them as your friends and develop a loving attitude towards them.
8. When to End the Practice: There is no prescribed length of time for meditation. As a beginner, it shall be easier for you to sit or lie down for a shorter period of time (6-10 minutes). However, as you mediate more often you can try to increase the length of time. You can also count on the number of breaths to end the practice.
9. How to End the Practice: When you wish to end your practice, gently bring your attention back to your surroundings and the present moment. Open your eyes, move your hands, legs, and slowly come out of the meditative pose.
10. Practice Often: Make sure you practice regularly for optimal results. You can also practice in nature and feel the fresh vibes of the atmosphere.
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveler in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. For more information about him visit his website.