GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - As a Yoga teacher, I get a lot of questions from students about meditation and how to do it. It seems simple to think, “I will just sit there and breath”, however many people struggle with doing just that.
The practice of meditation has a HUGE number of benefits; here is my top 5–
- Stress reduction
- Greater productivity
- Better sleep
- Improves overall mood
- Decreases depression
Here are some simple directions to get you started.
Give yourself space, and privacy. Turn off the phone, laptop, etc. Take a comfortable seat, upright, reclined, even lying down. There is no need to think you have to be able to sit cross-legged on the floor to meditate. Once you are in your seat, you can either close your eyes or even have an object to rest your gaze on set in front of you. Start to turn your attention inward just to listen to your own breathing. When you first start this up, give yourself an easy manageable goal, maybe 3-5 minutes. You can increase gradually over time. If thoughts come to you other than your breath, and they will come to you, simply notice them rather than responding to them with active thinking.
The most important thing is to keep trying, never labeling your session or yourself as a failure. That’s one reason I call this a practice. It never needs to be perfect.
For those of you with an iPhone or iPad, there is a great app called Inner Balance. It has some cost associated with it but over the long run is a lot less expensive than medical bills. The app will give you a meditation session ranging from 3 minutes and upward. You practice with eyes open and try to measure your breathing pace to screen pace. It even has a sensor to monitor your pulse as you practice. At the end you get feedback on your session and can journal the experience from your end also.
Another app I use which is free is called Meditator. This app allows you to set a time range for your practice and a pleasant chime will ring to indicate when you are done. If you are a more experienced meditator and do not require the feedback these type of apps are a great option.
A quote I like to refer to is “Don’t just do something, sit there”. Good advice in our busy and sometimes stressful lives. Take the time to practice meditation and enjoy the benefits that come along with it.
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