With all the uncertainty we face today, there is no better time to find peace of mind. Meditation is the practice of being mindful to achieve awareness and attention. In simple terms, meditation is taking a few minutes to allow your mind and body to rest. If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we often move without taking the time to truly enjoy each moment of our lives.
While many people practice meditation in yoga studios or by the beach, it can be done in the comfort of your own home. With numerous areas still practicing social distancing due to the coronavirus, our homes have become a place for it all.
By implementing meditation into your daily or weekly routine, you will begin to see and feel differences in your everyday life. Some benefits include better sleeping habits, improved attention span and calming anxiety and depression. For those not seeking an improvement in those areas, it is still a good way to practice self-care.
How do you practice meditation?
You don’t have to be a pro; everybody starts somewhere. Meditation is for anyone who wants to practice it. There isn’t one way to practice; meditating isn’t one-size-fits-all. You should do what feels right for you. It might seem difficult to calm your mind at first, but it gets easier as you go.
In addition to practicing meditation at home, virtual guided meditation is offered for those that would like direction. This is a helpful way to learn and while abiding by social distancing guidelines. In Jersey City and Hoboken, Asana Soul Practice and Jivamukti Yoga Jersey are offering online and live-stream classes to students.
This is a general beginning on how to meditate that will help better your practice and allow you to create your routine. Let’s dive in!
How to meditate:
Find a quiet spot
You won’t be able to focus with the television or people talking, so find a spot away from everyone with no distractions. You can convert an area you aren’t using or a closet into the designated meditation spot.
Relax your body
Sit upright with your legs crossed and arms in your lap or on top of your legs and relax. Make sure you’re comfortable. If you aren’t, it’s okay to find a position that feels right. Some people may prefer to meditate while lying down, and that’s okay too.
Turn on the music
This is optional, but turning on calming music can help set the mood. There are numerous playlists and guided videos made specifically for this! Let’s thank artists that make music just for our mind and well-being! Meditation music is usually sounds of nature or musical instruments with no words. Sometimes, artists will gently hum or chant. If you prefer complete silence, that is fine!
Close your eyes
Close your eyes and allow your mind and body to unwind. If it helps, imagine your dreams or goals; it’s a good visualization practice as it will help you focus and help you reprogram your subconscious mind. This helps eliminate any limiting beliefs one may have about themselves.
If you would prefer to keep your eyes open, you may if that works better for you. Keeping your eyes open and appreciating your surroundings helps calm the mind and body as well. Especially if you choose to meditate outside in your backyard or porch where a nice view is visible.
Focus on breathing
Often when people meditate, they will try too hard to not think of anything, which ironically, makes them think. Our minds constantly roam with thoughts. Trying to completely block them out will be extremely difficult. But here’s a trick: focus on your breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Breathing is the key to practicing meditation.
Let meditation take its course
In the beginning, it might seem hard to keep still and focused for a long period of time. Start small and work your way up, dedicate a few minutes a day to begin. Then, once you’re used to it and find what works best for your routine, you’ll be able to meditate for longer periods.
The best thing about practicing meditation is not only the health benefits but the ability to do it your way. As you continue the journey and make it your own, you will love meditation. Often, we all need to take a minute to be still and mindful. Allow yourself to appreciate the present in a world that is constantly moving.