Meditation is a practice that uses a set of techniques to assist the mind to achieve a state of stillness, relaxed quiet which allows the practitioner to focus inward and attain a stable, clear mind.
Some of the health benefits of meditating are:
- Reducing stress
- Controlling anxiety
- Develops concentration
- Lengthens attention span
- Improves sleep
- Enhances self-awareness
- Promotes emotional balance
Achieving a meditating state can be challenging because we are used to have our brain analyze everything around us and everything we experience, this can be considered a self preservation mechanism but if you add to it all the things in your life that stress you, puzzle you, frustrate you and the constant need to solve them in the immediate future it leads to a lot of inner chatter that puts pressure on your emotional state and ultimately your health.
Here are a few techniques to try to help you in your meditation:
1. Your Meditation Position
Start to meditate in a position that you feel comfortable in, while maintaining a straight back.
- Sit with your legs crossed on a mat or if not flexible on a block or a pillow
- If you can’t keep your back straight lean against a wall as close as possible
- If you can’t cross your legs start with knees bent or legs straight
! If you have back injuries an option would be to lay down in Shavasana , just keep in mind this pose induces sleep
2. Breathing techniques
As you meditate breathing play a big role in your success to reach a meditation state as it will assist you with your focus and also set a calming rhythm.
1. As you inhale expand your abdomen as you exhale contract your abdomen as you do you try to make your exhale longer
This might feel a little contra intuitive in the beginning but this is the way babies breathe so once upon a time you mastered this technique.
2. Deep lower belly breathing
There are various techniques for this and you can research pranayama breathing in order to choose the ones you are comfortable with.
You can begin with these breathing techniques until you can fall into a rhythm but if you have not yet mastered them just let yourself breathe a bit more deep than you would normally do
3. Focus techniques
Your mind will tend to wonder, thoughts and worries will distract you that is why we can use a few techniques to trick the brain and refocus.
1. As you breathe, name the process in your mind:
- Breathe In (as you inhale)
- Breathe Out (as you exhale)
- Air In (as you inhale)
- Air Out (as you exhale)
- Flow In (as you inhale)
- Flow Out (as you exhale)
2. As you breathe, number the process in your mind:
- One (as you inhale)
- Two (as you exhale)
3. As you breathe, name the process and number the length of your breath, in your mind:
- In for two (as you inhale)
- Out for four (as you exhale)