Learning to Meditate: Keep it Simple!

Find out how learning to meditate can be simple. Learn a straightforward meditation technique that can have enormous benefit for your day-to-day health and happiness.

“Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived in the immediate moment.” -Alan Watts

The practice of meditation is simple but can be very difficult for some of us. When I teach yoga, I include a moment of meditation or deep concentration because it allows space, perspective and rest for the brain. My students appreciate this great challenge! But you know what? Taking time to stop and to focus our attention on the present moment is very liberating. It’s a natural way to self-regulate our body and mind, to be in a state of total awareness and to feel relaxed. Our modern lifestyle can be exhausting and our body suffers from being kept too long in a state of constant stress. We need to relax! Our daily life is full of situations where it becomes necessary to encourage the nervous system to deactivate the fight-or-flight response. We have to activate the relaxation response!

 

Can we recognize that we are not constantly in a survival mode? We must learn to detach ourselves from our thoughts because it’s fuel for stress. Don’t believe everything you think!

Find out more on our step by step guide called Pregnancy Yoga Resource. Click here to download it in PDF format.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation, one of the 8 limbs of yoga, is the process by which your senses are released so you can know the vast silence that reigns in you. Maintaining peace of mind improves our overall health, mentally and physically. According to the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University, the benefits of meditation:

  • Reduces high blood pressure.
  • Increases ability to cope with stressful situations.
  • Enhances focus and clarity.
  • Helps medical condition such as anxiety, panic disorder and depression.
  • Improves self-esteem. Counteract the negative aspects of worrying, perfectionism and self-judgment.
  • Provides more energy.
  • Enhances well-being, sleep, concentration and memory/learning.
  • Provides greater enthusiasm for life.
  • Increases immune function.
  • Decreases physical and psychological symptoms of sickness.
  • Improves the ability to cope with pain.

Besides all the scientific and medical researches made about meditation and deep concentration, I can assure you that learning to meditate will help you feel refreshed and to reconnect with your internal balance.

Ready to experiment?

Learning to Meditate

  • Find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed.
  • Turn off the ringer on your phone (yes you can!).
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Adopt a comfortable seating position that will not cause drowsiness. You can use a chair to begin with but avoid to rest your back against the chair, your feet flat on the ground.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Gradually relax your muscles, from your toes to your head while keeping your spine straight.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose while focusing your attention on the air going in and out of your nostrils.
  • Adopt a passive attitude. As an observer, without reacting to emotions or images of your mind, you bring your attention back to your breath.
  • Be. Here. Now.
  • Maintain this concentration exercise 5 minutes at first, then gradually increase to 20 minutes a day. Slowly but surely!
  • At the end of your practice, open your eyes slowly and wait a minute before getting up.

Learning to meditate is a question of practice. The brain is very much like a muscle, one that needs to be strengthened through exercise. At first, focused attention will slow your mind, therefore, slow your breath and your heartbeat. With a regular practice of breath awareness, meditation can progress into a thoughtless state.

Meditation is simple but it requires a real effort of attention and perseverance. To enjoy the many benefits of meditation, we should practice it every day. Ideally, two times a day, 10 to 20 minutes each time.I think it’s worth investing 20 minutes to boost your health, happiness, and success! Don’t you think?

Why not creating an area dedicated to calmness and rest in your home. Your kids will appreciate it and will probably imitate you. A bed sheet suspended to the ceiling can became a peace tent for reading and meditation.

Find out more on our step by step guide called Pregnancy Yoga Resource. Click here to download it in PDF format.