Updated: Sep 21, 2020
As a Yoga and Mindfulness Coach people frequently ask me the million-dollar question. What is the right way to meditate? There is a long-held myth that somehow you will sit on a mat and close your eyes to meditate and you will suddenly empty the mind.
Yoga is an inward journey and meditation is a tool to help you look inside. However, it is by no means a quick fix. Like anything worthwhile to do in life, it takes time to learn the skill and potentially a lifetime to master. In saying that, you don’t need to be a master to get the benefits of meditation. If you stick at it the benefits will come in your life, not specifically on the mat each time you sit. The reason for this is simple. Meditation is simply put practising life, in a space where there is less noise. So then in your day to day life you will reap the rewards.
Gradually you will get better as sitting still. Then over time, you will build your ability to become more aware. Eventually, you will be able to create the space you need in your mind to enable you to enjoy life much more. Meditation is not a task on your to-do list. It is a pause button and an opportunity to stop now to build a bridge to the tomorrow you want to create.
What does your tomorrow look like from where you are right now? What do you want it to look like? Here are what I call the 3 steps to create a good meditation practice, that will help you to build a bridge to a better tomorrow.
Step 1 - Learning to be still
For many learning to be still is a tricky thing to do, especially when you are full of energy and your mind is racing constantly. To help with this try meditating, even for just a few minutes each morning when you wake up. There is nothing wrong with starting small. Statistics tell us that habits are more likely to stick long term when you start small.
Step 2 - Becoming aware
When you learn to sit and follow your pattern of breathing in and out, whether it be guided or self-led. You will then be able to become aware of when your mind wanders away from the focused activity of breathing. In this stage, you are not trying to stop your mind thinking. You are simply becoming more aware of the fact that you are thinking. Here you gently ask yourself to come back to the breath, each time it is pulled away by thoughts.
Stage 3 - Creating space
Once you can sustain the focus on your breath by maintaining awareness even for a few seconds at first, you are already creating space in your mind. This may start small but over time you will feel this space becoming longer and longer.
The key to a meditation practice is to simply start. Commit to a regular practice no matter how small. Starting small helps to make the process more doable and you will be more likely able to stick with it and achieve success. So if you can only commit to 3 minutes, in the beginning, do that. A beautiful quote I love makes this clear "start where you are, with what you have and do what you can". It is not a race to the finish line, it is a journey. Stay with it like I did and suddenly one day you will see the results bloom in your day to day life.
Always remember that life is a journey, not a destination, be kind and cut yourself some slack. Your potential is infinite and you are only limited by your mind. The inward journey helps you to take back control of your mind and discover your infinite potential held within. It is available to us all. Are you ready to look inside?
If you would like some help to discover the power of yoga & mindfulness join me for a private session and I will empower you to create the tomorrow that you desire.