~ 10 Important Meditation Tips For Beginners ~
The simplest way to start meditation is focusing consciously on the breathing pattern. Free the mind from all sorts of thoughts that come up and keep yourself calm. Meditation is a great stress buster that alleviates stress and other emotional problems. The practice of meditation provides relaxation to the mind and is known to cure many chronic ailments as well. There are a large number of individuals who try to meditate at some point in their life, but only few of them are able to sustain and continue to meditate in the later part of their life. Meditation has several health benefits. It lowers anxiety, increases concentration and provides a feeling of well-being and happiness. For a complete meditation experience, there are a few basic requirements. One needs to take care of certain things, which appear to be simpler, but has a greater impact on the entire process. Let us take a look at a few tips that beginners should take into consideration while practicing meditation.
1. Know The Purpose Of Meditation:
Meditation is not purpose specific. There may be several reasons for various individuals practicing meditation. Many of them take up meditation to calm the mind, connect with the inner self, to breathe better, to improve health, to visualize goals, to control anxiety, to improve creativity, to become compassionate or to be mindful. It is important to identify your need for meditation and then move ahead.
2. Plan A Time For Meditation:
For beginners, it is important to choose a convenient time for meditation. It is better to follow the same time each day for this purpose. There should be no disturbance, so that meditation can provide you relaxation and enjoyment. This not only maintains a disciplined approach towards meditation, but also helps you to achieve the purpose of meditation. As per ancient literature, the dawn and dusk are ideal for practicing meditation.
3. Select A Clam And Quiet Place:
Calm and peaceful surroundings make meditation a relaxing and enjoyable experience. So it is necessary to choose a place devoid of any disturbances. It is advisable to switch off all the electronic gadgets like mobile phones or laptops as they may be distracting. The place can also be made pleasant with aromatic candles, incense sticks or scented flowers. Meditation in dim light can assure more calming effect. Playing some meditation music also helps in the relaxation of the mind.
4. Wear Comfortable Clothing:
Wear light and comfortable clothing during meditation. Remove any kind of shoes or other footwear, so that you may sit in a relaxed pose. It is advisable to loosen any tight clothing that you may be wearing as it might lead to discomfort during meditation. This is important to avoid any kind of distraction during meditation.
5. Start With Stretches And Warm-ups:
Before you begin with meditation or any form of exercise, a few stretches and warm-ups are recommended. Warm-ups remove restlessness, improve blood circulation and make the body feel lighter and energetic. This also enables to sit in the meditative pose for a longer duration.
6. Choose A Simple Basic Meditation Program:
For beginners, meditation can be practiced by simply sitting in a quiet place and focusing on breathing. As you get accustomed to this, other ways of meditation can be practiced like meditation for a specific purpose or walking meditation or guided meditation. Avoid using a difficult pose during the initial stages of learning or forcing yourself to sit in Padmasana. In the beginning, one can sit on the floor or a chair or cross legged. Avoid using a cozy couch or bed as you may fall asleep during meditation.
7. Meditate In A Comfortable Posture:
The posture during meditation is an important factor for a successful meditation experience. Sit comfortably, stay relaxed and steady if possible in Padmasana or the lotus pose. It is advised to sit straight, keep the neck and shoulders relaxed and the spine erect. The eyes should be closed during the meditation process.
8. Practice Meditation When The Stomach Is Empty:
In the beginning, it is easier to meditate when the stomach is empty. Do not meditate when you are absolutely hungry as food will dominate your mind instead of meditation. It is recommended to wait for at least two hours after a complete meal or an hour after a snack or any caffeine drink. This is because the digestive system may cause hindrance with peaceful meditation. An alert mind is the key component of meditation. Hence, it is advisable to abstain from alcohol, smoking or any kind of non-prescribed drugs or medication.
9. Practice Deep Breathing:
Deep breathing and meditation go hand in hand. By concentrating on deep breathing, you will be able to focus the mind on meditation. The breathing rhythm also helps the mind to reach a meditative state. It is better to do Pranayama or simple deep breathing in and out before beginning meditation.
10. Keep A Pleasant Smile On The Face:
For a great meditation experience, it is necessary to keep a gentle smile on the face. This not only relaxes you during meditation, but also imparts an eternal peaceful experience. At the end of the meditation, always remember to open your eyes slowly.
Meditation should become a part of the daily schedule for beginners. Only daily practice and perseverance can provide the desired results and the sole purpose of meditation can be achieved. Some simple rules to remember are:
- Sit in the chosen pose and concentrate on your breathing. Whenever your thoughts drift away, get back to your breath. Deeply inhale and exhale, feeling the physical sensations associated with your breathing.
- As a beginner it is slightly difficult to keep focused during meditation. In this case, you can resort to counting of each breath for a few minutes. This will facilitate in bringing back the mind into the present moment.
- Meditation may not provide instant results. It needs at least a few weeks or months of regular practice. This should not be a reason for discontinuation of meditation. Be focused and determined to get better results.
- Practicing meditation religiously can only give you desired benefits. Daily practice of meditation even for a short period is more beneficial than meditating for a longer duration only once a week.
There are certain postures that are recommended for meditation and for an intense meditation experience. Let us take a look at these positions.
This is the most recommended posture for meditation. Padmasana or the lotus pose is usually followed by individuals with more flexibility. Whereas, others practice Sukhasana or the simple cross legged pose. Sitting on a chair is also a workable option. Any pose is fine, but the spine should be erect and shoulders straight. It should give a relaxed and comfortable feeling to the meditator. Relax the arms and place the hands on the lap. Keep your palms relaxed and face upwards or downwards.
This type of meditation is recommended by teachers. It can also be a joyful experience. This involves walking slowly and consciously, focusing on each step. Arms may be relaxed on the sides, and you can move freely irrespective of the pace and distance covered. Lastly coordinate the breathing with steps while walking.
This is another powerful type of meditation. It is recommended only for individuals who believe that it builds mental, physical and spiritual strength. Stand with the legs apart, arms on the sides and knees soft. Keep your chest open, shoulders rolled back and chin parallel to the floor. The whole body should be aligned in a good posture during this position.
This posture is referred to as Shavasana or the corpse pose. This is associated with both relaxation as well as meditation. This involves lying down on the back, arms on sides and with both the palms facing upwards. Eyes may be opened or closed as preferred. Although this pose is relaxing, it may be difficult to stay awake at times.
Simple Meditation Techniques:
There are a number of meditation techniques and styles that are equally beneficial for mental relaxation and better health. Some of these techniques are:
- Guided Meditation: This type of meditation is practiced with the help of a guide or a teacher.
- Mantra Meditation: Mantra meditation is practiced by repetition or chanting of certain mantra, word or phrase.
- Mindful Meditation: Mindful meditation involves taking a break and making yourself aware of your surroundings.
- Yoga or Tai Chi: Both yoga and tai chi involves performing various postures with a concentration on breathing while balancing the movements.
- Deep breathing: This is the simplest meditation technique that exclusively concentrates on the deep breaths from the chest.
- Visualization: For beginners practicing meditation by way of visualization is rather easy. In this traditional method, the meditator usually visualizes a chosen deity or an object.
- Gazing: This kind of meditation is also referred as Drishti that means to view or gaze. Here the meditator focuses on the object with open eyes.
- Prayers: In this form of meditation, prayers are recited. These prayers can be written by others or may be in your own words.
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