Exactly How To Meditate In Just 5 Easy Steps


Women's Health |

If you’ve always wanted to try mediation, this is a good place to start…

Numerous studies have shown that regular mediation can be hugely beneficial to your body and mind, but if you’ve never tried it before, where do you even begin?

We asked meditation teacher Vanishree Pavadai, a senior faculty member at the Art of Living Foundation and coordinator of I Meditate Africa, for tips on finding stillness.

1. How often should you meditate?

Meditation is a daily practice. An ideal session is 20 minutes once a day for beginners, working up to twice a day. Try for early morning, before the hectic demands of the day begin, but actually any time that suits your lifestyle is fine.

2. Where’s the best place to do it?

A place where you can have the least disturbance is ideal – a quiet place that lends itself to you going inwards and resting your mind. However it may not always be possible to find the perfect place and setting, so it’s ok to practise where you are.

3. What if you’re not flexible enough to get into that Lotus yoga position?

The ideal is for you to sit in a comfortable position, shoulders and back at rest and your spine upright. Sitting in a yoga posture helps keep your spine straight, but sitting on a chair or cushion won’t impede your practice in anyway, as long as you’re comfortable and your spine is straight.

4. What if you have trouble concentrating?

The breath is a major tool in meditation. The rhythm of the breath is directly connected to the state of your mind. If you can learn to manage your breath, you can learn to change the state of your mind. If you don’t know any breathing techniques, start by really focusing on your incoming breath and outgoing breath – your mind will settle down.

5. And if you fall asleep?

In meditation you’re alert and aware of the environment. You’re just resting your mind. So if you should nod off, the body has a tendency to jerk itself back into the upright position for you to resume your meditation. If you eat beforehand, the chances of you falling a sleep are strong, so it’s important to meditate on an empty stomach.

Ready to get started? Try this guided meditation by Art of Living Foundation founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

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