Meditation techniques for beginners can help by addressing common difficulties like having trouble sitting still. Your body needs to be comfortable if you want to quiet your mind. Try these suggestions to help you get your practice started.
Walk around, placing attention on the feet. You can meditate even if you have physical issues that prevent you from sitting for long periods. Walking meditation allows you to stay on your feet. Practice indoors or in a safe area outside. Move at a slow and steady pace. Notice the sensations on the bottom of each foot as you move.
Pull up a chair. It’s okay to use a chair if you’re uncomfortable on a floor cushion. Pick something firm so you can sit up straight and stay awake. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
Check your posture. Wherever you sit, good posture is essential. Keep your back straight and your shoulders down. Hold your head up and tilted slightly forward. Your arms can rest at your sides or on your knees.
Stretch out. Don’t worry if you never reach a full lotus position. On the other hand, stretching exercises will open your hips so you can find a sitting pose that’s right for you. You can find instructions in yoga magazines or attend a class so the instructor can guide you through proper form.
Adjust your position. There’s a big difference between fidgeting and making necessary corrections. Feel free to move your legs if you feel stiff or sore. In fact, alternating which leg you cross first will help to keep your body in balance.
Eat light. Digesting heavy meals puts a strain on your body. Stay hydrated by drinking water or decaffeinated tea. Avoid fatty foods before your sessions.
Gradually extend your sessions. A few minutes of good quality meditation is more effective than pushing yourself beyond your limits. You’ll be training yourself to achieve greater control over your body and mind rather than reinforcing sloppy habits. If you’re trying to increase your time at each session, you may find it distracting to watch a clock. In that case, you could burn a slightly longer stick of incense each day so you’ll know you’re done when the stick is gone.
You could also use a clock with a gentle sound rather than an alarm or put it under a pillow so the sound will be muffled.
Even if you sit at a desk all day, holding your seat while you focus on your mind can be a challenge. Contact us for more support with living mindfully.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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