Before I discovered yoga, meditation to me seemed like an ancient, mysterious art, an act likely to take place cross - legged in India and totally unreachable to me as part of my hectic, city life.
Through my practice I now know that meditation is very simple to achieve and is beneficial on so many levels. Our mind, just like our body, needs to rest. So many thoughts pass through our brain everyday that we start to feel tired, confused and heavy and in turn we can become stressed and emotional.
We have so much information to process, everything that enters our brain needs to be digested. What we see, hear, smell, touch and taste. It is not until we have processed this information that we are then capable of receiving more.
With all the thoughts and sensory information that passes through our mind, you can see how easy it is to become overwhelmed and anxious.
By using simple meditation techniques we can calm our mind, become more aware and expand our consciousness.
What are the benefits of meditation?
There are so many benefits to be gained from meditation, both physically and emotionally. I personally find it so beneficial and love that I feel calmer and clearer. I sleep better and find relief from daily stress and anxiety through it.
Meditation improves your mental state, it can improve concentration and give you a greater sense of self awareness, whist offering relief from negative, angry or painful thoughts.
Meditation also has medical benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing the efficiency of oxygen use by the body and increasing the production of the anti ageing hormone DHEA.
What is meditation?
Mediation is quite simply the time we give ourselves to process all of the information we receive. We don’t actually need to do anything apart from give ourselves time.
It is a natural process that our brain will embark on if we have no reaction and no judgment to the thoughts that pass through. Just watch the thoughts and emotions take their own natural pathway and allow the brain to process them so they can either be stored, deleted or edited as needed.
During the meditation process you need to be conscious and mindful not to attach yourself to any one thought. For most people this can be the biggest challenge but if we attach ourselves to even just one of the thoughts then we are delaying the natural process of information digestion.
Just watch, observe and be still. When you notice yourself attaching to a singular thought then bring yourself back to the present moment, feel the sensations within the body and become fully conscious and aware.
How to meditate
You need to limit the distractions around you, find a quiet place free of interruptions. You need to be as still as possible so find a comfortable position where your body feels at ease, I find lying on my bed or sitting with my back against the wall or comfy chair is the best place but do whatever works for you.
Close your eyes and observe your mind, notice what your mind creates and watch the thoughts and images pass you by, being careful to not attach yourself to any one thought.
Start by just meditating for a few minutes and then build up, meditation is like a muscle, it needs strengthening, it won’t take long to increase the time. It will become easier to remain still and to have no reaction to the physical and mental distractions that arise.
Let the brain relax, don’t force it otherwise you will get frustrated and give up. Build up slowly and you will start to reap the benefits of meditation and enjoy a calm, clear and conscious mind.