How do I meditate?
Learning to meditate is easy with good instruction and plenty of practice.
The Mindbody Mastery Program will teach you how to practise well and will support you through your journey. Meditation is really simple to do once you know how to start and what to do. These general guidelines will help you to create a more rewarding experience.
Choose a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. This does not have to be a separate room. You can even do it at your desk at work. Turn off the phone, let others know you are not available for a while, and make sure the room temperature is comfortable.
Choose a posture that is comfortable. Sitting with your back fairly upright is ideal, with hands relaxed on your thighs or cupped in your lap. Lying down is optional but you need to make sure you do not fall asleep! Sometimes a little discomfort helps you to concentrate, to learn to relax through the discomfort and stay awake.
Try and think of a time of day that best works for you. As you get into a routine your loved ones will know when not to disturb you. First thing in the morning can help clear your mind and prepare for the day. Last thing at night can help you relax, de-stress and gain better sleep. The Mindbody Mastery program will help you to gradually build your time for meditating.
Adopt an attitude of being curious, passive and yet alert – a bit like going to a good film where you do not need to do anything, but do not want to go to sleep and miss the show!
Once settled, relax your body and mind. Try the Progressive Muscle Relaxation free trial exercise on our website where you will learn to relax each part of your body, starting with your feet, then calves, then thighs and up through your body. As you relax so does your mind.
From a relaxed place, you can manage your thoughts. Your mind is used to being active so it is likely that thoughts will continue to come as you begin your meditation. This is normal, but then, what we do in response to those thoughts is the important thing.
The technique called Mindfulness involves learning to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment. By applying mindfulness, you can learn to allow the thoughts to come and go without reacting to them. An easy way to apply this is to learn to focus your attention on your breath. As you do this, you then allow yourself to relax into a deeper stillness and experience inner peace and calm.
Your session's end
End your session gently (no sudden movements). Bring your awareness back to your breathing and slowly move and stretch your body. Sometimes it is nice to mark the end of your meditation by having a drink of water or writing down a few thoughts or feelings.