If you think that meditation is something which only Buddhist monks (or individuals with lives that are a lot less crazy than yours) can do, think again.
Not only can anyone out there meditate, however there are myriad of health and well-being benefits from a straightforward, daily meditation practice. For starters, meditation may:
- Lower blood pressure as well as cortisol (which is a stress hormone) and cholesterol.
- Increase creativity.
- Reduce anxiety; and
- Strengthen your immune
A study has found that meditators produced substantially more antibodies to a flu vaccine than did nonmeditators. The same research also showed that those who meditated were calmer and had a more positive emotional state.
What Happens At The Beginning
Most first-time meditators find it very strange to sit in silence, to sit with their deepest thoughts and feelings, to sit and do absolutely nothing — the very things that, strangely enough, the mind tends to resist. To a beginner, meditation could at first feel a little alien, perhaps even scary, but that’s okay. People have been meditating for approximately 3 000 years, and many have doubtless experienced the same reticence, trepidation, or wonder that first-time meditators often feel.
When we pay very close attention to our breath, we are learning how to go back to, and stay in, the present moment—to secure ourselves in the here and now by design, without judgment. The idea behind mindfulness seems straightforward — the practice takes a lot of patience.
Whilst meditation isn’t a cure-all, it can definitely provide some much-required space in your life. At times, that’s all we require in order to make better choices for ourselves, our families as well as our communities. And the most significant tools you can bring with you to your meditation practice are a little patience, some kindness for yourself as well as a comfortable place to sit.
The Practice Of Meditation
When you close your eyes and stick to the guidelines of your first guided meditation (if in-person or through a recording), you should anticipate your mind to be busy, easily distracted, as well as restless, if not more so. Just because you’ve elected to sit and meditate doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly experience uninterrupted calm, in the same way which you’d never be expecting to tame a wild horse overnight.
The process of meditating is simple and easy: just sit and practise. All you are really required to do is to close your eyes, remain focused on your breathing, and allow your mind to do its thing. This is the one single skill where you don’t have to make every effort to accomplish something — just a spot of stillness where no work is needed.
There Is No Judgement
There’s no such matter as a good or bad meditation. There is just awareness or non-awareness. The moment you appreciate you’re lost in thought, that’s understanding, and that’s when you return to the object of focus (frequently the breath). This is all you have to keep on doing — return from your preoccupied thought to the breath, all the time perfecting your awareness. With perseverance, the periods between awareness and confusion will get longer and longer. Prior to starting, it’s good to familiarise yourself with how the mind works as well as what to expect of it when you take a seat to meditate.
If you are eager to discover more about how to meditate, then you should do our Yoga Instructor Certification. For more information, please follow this link.