Want to start meditating? Can’t quite work out how to start or what you need to do? – There are a load of myths and misconceptions around meditation that can make it seem too complicated and prevents a lot of people from actually trying, although, once I uncovered these beliefs it became a whole lot easier to understand and meditation is now something I couldn’t live without.
So, if your in limbo about starting, I hope to wipe away any misconception or confusion and hit you up with the most important tips you should know before you start meditating!
7 Tips to Know Before You Start Meditating
You do not have to sit in the “Buddha position”
Now I was surprised about this one! I always thought that in order to meditate you had to sit in a certain posture (cross legged with your palms facing up) and whenever I tried to do this I discovered that my flexibility was shocking! This put me off meditating and I didn’t understand how a practice that was meant to be about relaxing and letting go was soo uncomfortable.
It wasn’t long after reading numerous articles, that I found out you do not have to sit like that at all!
As long as you are comfortable, able to relax and your spine is straight to allow the flow of energy, then that is all you need to worry about! Sit on a chair with your hands placed on your lap, or if you are doing a meditation before going to sleep then simply lay flat on your back with your hands by your side – Simple right!?
You can use guided videos or apps
To begin with I believed that meditation was simply about shutting off our minds, but let me tell you, I quickly learnt that it is extremely difficult so please do not expect miracles right away! I decided to seek some guidance on calming the mind and came across guided YouTube videos, once I discovered that all you had to do was follow the steps it became a life saver for me.
Being guided helps when you are a beginner as you are not left on your own trying to figure out if your’e doing things right!
Another great app to check out is “Headspace“, it offers a variety of short meditation exercises for daily use, this is a great way to start and children can also get involved which is great! This app made me realise that even if we cannot get rid of thoughts completely, we can learn to control how much attention we give to them, by finding and focusing on the gaps between thoughts we can begin to enhance how much time our minds are in pure peace and consciousness.
Just breathe naturally
We are soo used to taking control of things in every day life that as beginners we tend to try and control/regulate our breath, when in actual fact all you need to do is take notice of your breath and just let it flow naturally. If you struggle with this then try to count each breath and feel as you inhale and exhale, (this will help with the relaxation process also).
Let go of all tension and control, allow your breath to be an anchor or subject of attention and that is all. (this is actually a practice similar to mindfulness!)
Start off small
While the pros/experts sit in hour long meditation sessions, they all had to start from somewhere. I found that even 15 minutes to begin with was too much for me! I would lose concentration and fall asleep (this is quite common to begin with).
Start small and then build up your time. We become masters of something that we practice and practice over time, you will not find someone who is able to meditate for 4 hours straight on their first trial. 5 minutes a day is fine to start with! Get used to the practice and then you can start to become a pro.
Find “Your” place
Having a place where you are able to shut off and not be disturbed during meditation is essential. Trying to clear your mind is already hard enough without background distractions and noise so to begin with having your own space will benefit you. Get comfy, light some candles and really get into the mood, this is YOUtime so make it count.
Set a specific time (In the morning preferably)
Aren’t we all used to setting ourselves goals that we NEVER keep to?! Yup, the only way I was able to integrate meditation within my daily routine was by setting a specific time for it and I therefore had no choice but to show up everyday.
The morning is one of the best times to meditate because our minds are still in a state of rest from sleep, it also helps to set the tone for your day ahead and prepare your mind by feeling refreshed and optimistic. Set an alarm if you have to! Getting up 5-10 minutes earlier is definitely worth it.
Don’t stress too much
Just like most things, you will have good sessions and bad sessions, but do not stress or beat yourself up about it! Expressing negativity is the total opposite of what meditation is meant to be about. End meditation with gratitude and remember that no-one is perfect, the fact that you done a session should be enough of a reason to praise yourself for.
Do you want to start meditating? If you meditate already what would your top tip be for beginners ? Share your thoughts below!