This season at Indique & Fluff, it is all about Self-Care! One of the best ways to improve on self-care is to incorporate meditation into your schedule.
In the world we live in today, we are almost always on the go. From continually being connected to electronics to being available on a whim for anyone and everything, things can become overwhelming. Meditation has been used to help with slow aging, reduce stress, improve concentration, increase happiness and SO much more for well over 5,000 years. Meditation originated in the eastern world; this practice has been making an impact on the western hemisphere for a while now.
In Buddhism meditation can be performed in many ways. The two types of meditation we will delve into are concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Concentration Meditation focuses on a single point. Usually, you focus on a mantra, an image in your mind, breathing or counting mala beads. You'll notice it may be challenging at first to keep the mind from wandering. A beginner may want to meditate for a few minutes at a time and work their way up to extended sessions. If you catch your mind wandering off, let the thought go and refocus yourself.
In mindfulness meditation, the participant is mindful of their thoughts as they flow through their mind. Instead of interacting and judging with the thoughts or feelings, you observe them as they arise. Over time this teaches you how to recognize patterns you may have with your human interactions and will ideally lead to both inner and outer balance.
So, are you ready to meditate?
Pick a quiet, comfortable spot where you will be free of distractions. Having a timer handy will help you monitor how long you’ve been meditating without breaking concentration to check the time. Ten minutes is a great time frame for beginners. Now that you have your location picked out and your intent in mind it’s time to begin.
1. Sit with your back straight and your legs in any position that is comfortable for you. Sitting upright allows you to breathe with ease, making it easier to focus. Don’t worry about how your hands are positioned, remain comfortable and upright.
2. Tilt your chin down to open your chest and allow you to breath deeper. Having your eyes open or shut is a personal preference, however, keeping them closed does help avoid visual distractions.
3. Set your timer.
4. Keeping your mouth closed, focus on breathing in and out. Now is a good time to lead with intent. If you’re doing concentration meditation, find your point and focus on it. If you’re practicing mindfulness meditation, pay attention to your thoughts as they flow, free of judgment.
5. Do not be hard on yourself, if you catch your mind wandering re-center your thoughts.
6. End the session by opening your eyes, standing up slowly and stretching.
As with all good things, practice will lead to better sessions. The key is to be kind to yourself as you go on this journey of mindfulness and appreciation. Let us know if you’ve tried any of these tips or have any tips to share.
Until next time, Namaste.