Yoga Practice: Meditation
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еmploy http://143143.cn/45871-placentrex-gel-price.html “The awakening, the soul lighting up, happens when we realize we are one with God, one with the universe, and one with each other. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children, ourselves and the world, is to grow in the awareness of this connection.” Oprah Winfrey
Let’s talk about Meditation. The art of being still and sitting with yourself for a few minutes or longer. I’m talking about a structured meditation practice which we plan into our day. For some of us this may sound terrifying. And for some it may sound delightful. Either way, when we realize to accept it’s simplicity and host of benefits to our health and well being, we should give it a chance and include it in our daily routine.
What happens when we’re trying to fall asleep at night and we can’t? What happens when we wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to fall back asleep? We are suddenly stuck being still and quiet, while forced to notice our thoughts, sounds and physical sensations. In this frustrating moment we usually can’t help but notice the never ending flow of 70k plus thoughts that enter into our consciousness. One thought flows in and then we attach ourselves to it, and it becomes a story that weaves itself in and around some random topic. Or we may not be able to get comfortable and notice discomfort or pain in the body, then we attach ourself to that, which may become yet another story in our head. This may go on for a while until we fall asleep, or until we decide get up and do something else. I think some of us know what I’m talking about.
When we have a regular meditation practice, we learn to observe what is actually happening in our mind and body WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. We can accept whatever we notice as part of our practice and then move on. We learn to ‘let that shit go.’ Seriously! When we sit and simply observe our thoughts, sounds and physical sensations, we start to realize it will pass if we don’t attach to it. This realization is profound for many of us. We also start to notice the nature of our thoughts. Are we being critical or judgmental of our ourselves or others? Are we always making to do lists and wanting to move to the next task? Are we wondering about doing it right and being good at it? Are we worrying about our problems, and those of our friends and loved ones and how we can help? Understanding the nature of our thoughts helps us to better understand who we are as a person and what we might want to change.
Having a regular meditation practice has many benefits. Too many to name in a short blog post. To keep it short I’ll explain two key reasons why we should all set aside time in our everyday routine for meditation.
First, sitting still and quiet in meditation will rapidly shift the nervous system into balance. Our culture encourages constant movement and stimulation. Our calendars are filled with work and personal obligations, assisted by our multiple tech devices which have our nervous system on overdrive and off balance. A few minutes of sitting still and observing what is going on with our body and breath will shift the physiology of our brain and nervous system from fight or flight to rest and digest. This shift will have profound positive effects on our overall health and wellbeing.
Second, our meditation practice connects us with our true nature, our oneness with all that is. We have glimpses of ourselves as part of the whole, as part of the universe or divine. We are no longer an individual human being on our own individual path. We are part of a whole serving a greater purpose along side every other being on this planet. We are light and vibration and the gross or material part of us and our world around us dissolves. We realize that we are connected to all beings, to spirit, to the entire planet and universe. Regaining this connection will heal your soul and help to heal the soul of the planet. We realize that our actions have consequences and we need to be conscious of what we are putting out into the world. It may sound all hippy dippy but it’s true. Trust it!
If you have a regular meditation practice you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t have a practice and want to begin, try these simple tips.
Create a comfortable and quiet space in your home designated for your practice. It does not have to be anything fancy. You can furnish the space with a chair, meditation cushion or blankets. Some may want to add a meditation alter with some tools to aid in your practice, but it certainly is not necessary. A meditation alter might include some pictures of loved ones or pets, a favorite statue or piece of art, a meditation bell, incense burner, and mala beads for mantra meditation. Keep a blanket, shawl or sweater nearby in case you get chilled.
Find a comfortable seat on a chair or the floor in your designated space. GET COMFORTABLE! Comfort is key to the practice. Sit in a chair if that’s what’s most comfortable for you. If you’re in a chair, prop up your spine with a pillow, so you can sit up straight and feel supported. Place the soles of your feet flat on the floor to feel grounded. If you prefer the floor, feel free to sit against the wall to support your spine. If you’re comfortable sitting with a tall spine for several minutes, than sit on a cushion or blanket to elevate the hips above the knees. Place your legs into any position that feels comfortable.
Make meditation part of your routine. Make it the first thing you do in the morning. Wake up, use the bathroom, splash some water on your face, then go and sit for meditation. Or it could be the first thing you do when you get home from work in the afternoon. Before you do anything else. Right before bed time is nice as long as you can stay awake.
Begin with 5 minutes or less once a day. I’m serious! 5 minutes is enough time and it’s doable. Increase by 1 minute increments every week or two until 30 minutes has been reached. This way increasing the amount of time will feel seamless. When ready, add a second practice each day. No rush! We need to take time to be gentle with ourselves.
Use a meditation app on a mobile device, especially when new to the practice. My favorite is Insight Timer because it has a timer with lovely bells and guided meditations with different themes and lengths of time. Headspace is recommended by Apple and has great reviews.
When I first began my practice, I was inspired by guided meditations. Being guided into the practice simplifies and demystifies it. The theme and duration are already set. Just pick something that resonates and is relatable. Use the apps above or scroll down to practice with me.
My hope is that you’ll utilize these simple tips and give it a try. The truth is, we cannot do it wrong. We can’t! I’ve included a few of my own recorded guided meditations from my podcast. Feel free to utilize these anytime. They are free!
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I’m always open to feedback and questions. Feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing you and all beings health, happiness, freedom and safety.