Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. Many people try meditation at some point in their lives, however a small percentage actually stick with it for the long-term. A possible reason for this is that many beginners do not begin with a mindset needed to make the practice sustainable. Here we provide some tips in meditation for beginners and regular practitioners stick to their practice.
1. Be Realistic - Expectations and Duration
If you have never meditated before, it is probably unrealistic to expect that you will be able to meditate for an hour everyday or to set an alarm for 4 am in the morning. It is equally unrealistic to expect yourself undergoing sudden transformation and becoming calm and peaceful after a few days of meditation. It is realistic to start with a 5-10 min daily practice. Once you set a duration that suits you, do NOT get up before that time. Continue focusing on your technique even if you feel like its not going so well today. If practiced sincerely and regularly, you may start noticing slight changes in your disposition in a matter of a month. Click here to pick a technique that suits you.
2. Help Yourself - Set a Convenient Time
Be serious in your intention to make your meditation practice a part of your daily routine. Do not assume that you will do it as you find time, instead pre-determine one or two time slots in the day when it would be possible for you to meditate (e.g. after your morning tea, during tea break at work, as soon as you get home in the evening, etc). Try to stick to this routine. The body has a rhythm and intelligence of its own and soon, it will start expecting and preparing itself for the meditation break. If, for some reason, you are unable to practice for a period of time - do not give up, thinking that all the accrued benefit of the past is gone. Simply pick up the practice from where you had stopped.
3. Choose your Technique
4. Take help - Guided Meditations
People find it easy to start meditating with a guided meditation.Here we have listed a few guided meditations found online. Please read through these guidelines before you pick a guided meditation to follow. Pick a guided meditation based on the technique that appeals to you.
5. Long Term Project - 21 Days
It is essential to do your meditation practice everyday for a period of at least three weeks before you can conclude if it is helping you or not. Having a 21 day or a 30 day meditation project is a great way to get started with your meditation practice. Resolve to yourself that you will meditate daily for a period of at least 21 days before concluding anything about it. If practicing with a guided meditation, use the same meditation everyday for a period of three weeks at least.
6. Release Tension and Lethargy - Stretch!
Sometimes it is easier to sit still if you have done some stretching exercises before. Stretching releases all the tension, lethargy and stiffness of the muscles. It is especially useful to stretch the muscles of your pelvic region and the spine. Make it a regular part of your practice to start with mindful stretching.
You meditation practice begins with the stretching and not after it. It is important to stretch mindfully and gradually, allowing yourself to feel each sensation and co-ordinate it with your breathing. Mindful stretching works on the body and mind, both!
Exercises to release the spine and the pelvic region before your practice
7. Mix Formal and Informal
Those who are apprehensive about sitting still for a period of 10 minutes can take a creative approach to introduce meditation in their lives. They can choose to pick a slot of time that seems not so scary (1 min to 5 mins) for formal practice and pre select a few occasions from their daily routine when they can incorporate the informal practice into their day as mentioned . It is important to be sincere, serious and regular in your formal practice even if its a 2 min practice. Here is a wonderful video titled One Moment Meditation that shows you how to meditate in a minute.