Yoga meditations for beginners

How to Meditate, Its Benefits, & Methods

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Although you don’t need to formally meditate in order to practice yoga—nor is the practice of yoga mandatory in order to meditate—the two practices support each another. Through your practice of yoga, you’ve enhanced both your abilities to concentrate and to relax—the two most important requirements for a meditation practice. This guide to meditation for beginners will help deepen your understanding of what meditation is and how you can begin a practice of your own. (Hint: It’s easier than you might think!)

What is meditation?

An exquisite methodology exists within the yoga tradition that is designed to reveal the interconnectedness of every living thing. This fundamental unity is referred to as advaita. Meditation is the actual experience of this union.

In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali gives instruction on how to meditate and describes what factors constitute a meditation practice. The second sutra in the first chapter states that yoga (or union) happens when the mind becomes quiet. This mental stillness is created by bringing the body, mind, and senses into balance, which, in turn, relaxes the nervous system. Patanjali goes on to explain that meditation begins when we discover that our never-ending quest to possess things and our continual craving for pleasure and security can never be satisfied. When we finally realize this, our external quest turns inward, and we have shifted into the realm of meditation.

By dictionary definition, “meditation” means to reflect upon, ponder, or contemplate. It can also denote a devotional exercise of contemplation or a contemplative discourse of a religious or philosophical nature. The word meditate comes from the Latin meditari, which means to think about or consider. Med is the root of this word and means “to take appropriate measures. ” In our culture, to meditate can be interpreted several ways. For instance, you might meditate on or consider a course of action regarding your child’s education, or a career change that would entail a move across the country. Viewing a powerful movie or play, you may be moved to meditate upon—or ponder—the moral issues plaguing today’s society.

In the yogic context, meditation, or dhyana, is defined more specifically as a state of pure consciousness. It is the seventh stage, or limb, of the yogic path and follows dharana, the art of concentration. Dhyana in turn precedes samadhi, the state of final liberation or enlightenment, the last step in Patanjali’s eight-limbed system. These three limbs—dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (ecstasy)—are inextricably linked and collectively referred to as samyama, the inner practice, or subtle discipline, of the yogic path.

Recall that the first four limbs—yama (ethics), niyama (self-discipline), asana (posture), and pranayama (life-force extension)—are considered external disciplines. The fifth step, pratyahara represents the withdrawal of the senses. This sensual withdrawal arises out of the practice of the first four steps and links the external to the internal. When we are grounded physically and mentally, we are keenly aware of our senses, yet disengaged at the same time. Without this ability to remain detached yet observant, it is not possible to meditate. Even though you need to be able to concentrate in order to meditate, meditation is more than concentration. It ultimately evolves into an expanded state of awareness.

When we concentrate, we direct our mind toward what appears to be an object apart from ourselves. We become acquainted with this object and establish contact with it. To shift into the meditation realm, however, we need to become involved with this object; we need to communicate with it. The result of this exchange, of course, is a deep awareness that there is no difference between us (as the subject) and that which we concentrate or meditate upon (the object). This brings us to the state of samadhi, or self-realization.

A good way to understand this is to think about the development of a relationship. First, we meet someone—that is, we make contact. Then by spending time together, listening to, and sharing with each another, we develop a relationship. In the next stage, we merge with this person in the form of a deep friendship, partnership, or marriage. The “you” and “me” become an “us.”

According to the Yoga Sutra, our pain and suffering is created by the misperception that we are separate from nature. The realization that we aren’t separate may be experienced spontaneously, without effort. However, most of us need guidance. Patanjali’s eight-limbed system provides us with the framework we need.

See also: Get to Know the 8 Limbs of Yoga

5 different ways to meditate

Just as there are numerous styles of yoga, so there are many ways to meditate. The first stage of meditation is to concentrate on a specific object or establish a point of focus, with the eyes either opened or closed. Silently repeating a word or phrase, audibly reciting a prayer or chant, visualizing an image such as a deity, or focusing on an object such as a lighted candle in front of you are all commonly recommended points of focus. Observing or counting your breaths and noticing bodily sensations are also optional focal points. Let’s take a closer look:

The use of sound in meditation

Mantra yoga employs the use of a particular sound, phrase, or affirmation as a point of focus. The word mantra comes from man, which means “to think,” and tra, which suggests “instrumentality.” Therefore, mantra is an instrument of thought. It also has come to mean “protecting the person who receives it.” Traditionally, you can only receive a mantra from a teacher, one who knows you and your particular needs. The act of repeating your mantra is called japa, which means recitation. Just as contemplative prayer and affirmation need to be stated with purpose and feeling, a mantra meditation practice requires conscious engagement on the part of the meditator. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation (TM) espouses the practice of mantra yoga.

See also: 13 Mantras to Memorize

Chanting, an extension of mantra yoga, is a powerful way to enter into meditation. Longer than a mantra, a chant involves both rhythm and pitch. Western traditions use chants and hymns to invoke the name of God, to inspire, and to produce a spiritual awakening. Dating back to Vedic times, Indian chanting comes out of a tradition that believes in the creative power of sound and its potential to transport us to an expanded state of awareness. The rishis, or ancient seers, taught that all of creation is a manifestation of the primordial sound Om. Reflected in an interpretation of the word universe—”one song”—Om is the seed sound of all other sounds. Chanting Sanskrit often and properly produces profound spiritual and physical effects.

Many beginners find using a mantra in their meditation very effective and relatively easy. Chanting, on the other hand, can be intimidating for some people. If you feel awkward chanting on your own, use one of the many audiotapes of chants on the market, or participate in a group meditation where a meditation teacher leads the chant and the students repeat it. Although chanting in Sanskrit can be powerful, reciting a meaningful prayer or affirmation in any language can be effective.

See also: Intro to Chanting, Mantra, and Japa

The use of imagery in meditation

Visualizing is also a good way to meditate; one that beginners often find easy to practice. Traditionally, a meditator visualizes his or her chosen deity—a god or goddess-in vivid and detailed fashion. Essentially any object is valid.

Some practitioners visualize a natural object such as a flower or the ocean; others meditate on the chakras, or energy centers, in the body. In this type of meditation, you focus on the area or organ of the body corresponding to a particular chakra, imagining the particular color associated with it.

See also: The Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras


Another variation on the use of imagery is to maintain an open-eyed focus upon an object. This focus is referred to as drishti, which means “view,” “opinion,” or “gaze.” Again the choices available to you here are virtually limitless. Candle gazing is a popular form of this method. Focusing on a flower in a vase, or a statue, or a picture of a deity are other possibilities.

Use this technique with your eyes fully opened or partially closed, creating a softer, diffused gaze. Many of the classical hatha yoga postures have gazing points, and the use of drishti is especially emphasized in the Ashtanga style of hatha yoga. Many pranayama techniques also call for specific positioning of the eyes, such as gazing at the “third eye,” the point between the eyebrows or at the tip of the nose.


Using the breath as a point of focus is yet another possibility. You can do this by actually counting the breaths as you would in pranayama practice. Ultimately, however, meditating on the breath just means purely observing the breath as it is, without changing it in any way. In this instance, the breath becomes the sole object of your meditation. You observe every nuance of the breath and each sensation it produces: how it moves in your abdomen and torso, how it feels as it moves in and out of your nose, its quality, its temperature, and so on. Though you are fully aware of all these details, you don’t dwell on them or judge them in any way; you remain detached from what you’re observing. What you discover is neither good nor bad; you simply allow yourself to be with the breath from moment to moment.

Breath observance is the predominant technique used by practitioners of vipassana, commonly referred to as “insight” or “mindfulness” meditation. Popularized by such renowned teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, this is a form a Buddhist practice. The word vipassana, which literally means “to see clearly” or “look deeply,” is also interpreted to mean “the place where the heart dwells,” and reflects the premise that thought arises out of our hearts.

See also: A Beginner’s Guide to Pranayama

Physical sensations

Another way to meditate is to watch a physical sensation. Practice this with the same degree of detail as you would when watching the breath. In this context, you will look deeply at, or penetrate, a particular sensation that draws your attention, such as how hot or cool your hands feel. The increased sensitivity you gained due to your asana practice may provide you with other points of focus: the strength of your spine or the suppleness you feel in your lower body, for example. Observing a particular emotion or any specific area of discomfort is also a possibility. Whatever you choose remains your point of focus for the whole practice. You may find that observing a physical sensation can be more challenging than observing the breath. For most beginners, mantras, chants, and visualizations offer more tangible ways to replace or calm the scattered thoughts of our minds, which seem to be perpetually on sensory overload.

See also: Meditation Has Proven Benefits. So Why Is It So Hard to Commit?

4 common meditation postures


Although you can meditate, or become fully absorbed in any activity or position of stillness, sitting is the most commonly recommended posture. There are a number of classic seated poses, but Sukhasana (Easy Cross-Legged Pose) is obviously the most basic. More flexible meditators prefer Padmasana (Lotus Pose).

Sitting in a chair also works. It’s no less effective and certainly no less spiritual, and it’s often the best choice for beginners. The most important things are that your spine remain upright and that you feel steady and comfortable, the same two qualities necessary for performing asanas. To maximize comfort on the floor, place a cushion or folded blanket under your buttocks to elevate them and gently guide your knees down toward the floor. This helps support the natural lumbar curve of the lower back. Some people prefer kneeling “Japanese-style. ” You can buy small, slanted wooden benches for this position.

Relax your arms and place your hands on your thighs or in your lap, with the palms in a relaxed position facing up or down. Roll your shoulders back and down and gently lift the chest. Keep your neck long and the chin tilted slightly downward. Depending upon which technique you are following, the eyes may be opened or closed. Breathing is natural and free.

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Meditation Posture


A moving meditation—highly recommended by many teachers—may be an enjoyable option for you. The challenge of this form is to walk slowly and consciously, each step becoming your focal point. Destination, distance, and pace are all incidental. Relax your arms at your sides and move freely, coordinating your breath with your steps. For instance, you might breathe in for 3 steps and breathe out for 3 steps. If that feels awkward or difficult, just breathe freely. Although you can practice walking meditation anywhere, choose a setting you particularly love—the ocean, a favorite park, or a meadow. Remember, getting somewhere is not the issue. Rather, the complete involvement in the act of walking becomes your meditation.

See also: Get Grounded With an Outdoor Walking Meditation


Standing is another meditation practice that can be very powerful. It is often recommended for those practitioners who find that it builds physical, mental, and spiritual strength. Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-distance apart. Knees are soft; arms rest comfortably at your sides. Check to see that the whole body is aligned in good posture: shoulders rolled back and down, chest open, neck long, head floating on top, and chin parallel to the floor. Either keep your eyes opened or softly close them.


Even though lying down is associated with relaxation, the classic Corpse Pose, Savasana, is also used for meditation. Lie down on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing upward. Touch your heels together and allow the feet to fall away from one another, completely relaxed. Although your eyes may be opened or closed, some people find it easier to stay awake with their eyes open. A supine meditation, although more physically restful than other positions, entails a greater degree of alertness to remain awake and focused. Therefore, beginners may find it more difficult to meditate in this position without falling asleep.

See also: Why Hiking Is a Form of Meditation

The benefits of meditation

Research has confirmed what the yogis of ancient times already knew: Profound physiological and psychological changes take place when we meditate, causing an actual shift in the brain and in the involuntary processes of the body.

This is how it works: An instrument called an electroencephalograph (EEG) records mental activity. During waking activity, when the mind constantly moves from one thought to another, the EEG registers jerky and rapid lines categorized as beta waves. When the mind calms down through meditation, the EEG shows waves that are smoother and slower, and categorizes them as alpha waves. As meditation deepens, brain activity decreases further. The EEG then registers an even smoother, slower pattern of activity we call theta waves. Studies on meditators have shown decreased perspiration and a slower rate of respiration accompanied by a decrease of metabolic wastes in the bloodstream. Lower blood pressure and an enhanced immune system are further benefits noted by research studies.

The health benefits of meditation naturally reflect the mental and physical effects of this process. At the very least, meditation teaches you how to manage stress; reducing stress in turn enhances your overall physical health and emotional well-being. On a deeper level, it can add to the quality of your life by teaching you to be fully alert, aware, and alive. In short, it is a celebration of your self. You are not meditating to get anything, but rather to look at and let go of anything you do not need.

See also: The Big Brain Benefits of Meditation

(Photo: Getty Images)

Starting your own meditation practice

Meditating daily might seem like an overwhelming chore, but it doesn’t have to be. Add it to the end of your asana practice, or set aside another block of time to practice. The important thing is that you find a time and practice that works best for you—and it doesn’t need to be lengthy or complicated. Even a couple of minutes per day can offer many of the benefits of meditation.

See also: Daily Meditation Made Easy

When and where to practice

To establish consistency, try to meditate at the same time and in the same place every day. Choose a place that is quiet, pleasant, and where you’ll be undisturbed.

Traditionally, the morning is considered the optimal time because you are less likely to be distracted by the demands of your day. Many people find that a morning meditation helps them enter the day with a greater degree of equanimity and poise. However, if a morning practice is a struggle, try an afternoon or early evening meditation. Remember it’s not when you practice or for how long that matters—it’s the practice itself that’s important.

If you are just dabbling in mediation for beginners, you may find adding 5 or 10 minutes of meditation at the end of your asana practice is enough. When meditating independently of your yoga practice, a 10- to 15-minute time frame seems manageable for most beginners.


Choose a position that works for you. If you prefer sitting, either on a chair or on the floor, keep the spine erect and the body relaxed. Your hands should rest comfortably on your lap or thighs, with the palms up or down. If you choose to walk or stand, maintaining good posture is also critical, with your arms hanging freely by your sides. When lying down, place yourself in a symmetrical and comfortable position with the appropriate support under your head and knees if needed.

See also: Yes, It’s OK to Meditate in a Chair


Decide on your point of focus. If sound appeals to you, create your own mantra, silently or audibly repeating a word or phrase that is calming to you, such as “peace,” “love,” or “joy.

Affirmations also work. “I am relaxed” or “I am calm and alert” as you breathe out. Using a tape of chants or listening to a relaxing piece of music are also options.

If you choose imagery, visualize your favorite spot in nature with your eyes closed, or gaze upon an object placed in front of you: a lighted candle, a flower, or a picture of your favorite deity.

One way to observe the breath is to count it: Breathe in for three to seven counts and breathe out for the same length of time. Then shift to simply observing the breath, noticing its own natural rhythm and its movement in your torso.

Whichever posture and method you choose, stick with them for the duration of your meditation period. Indeed, once you find what works for you, you’ll want to maintain that practice indefinitely.

Do not be surprised or discouraged by how frequently your thoughts wander. When you realize that your mind has become distracted, simply return to your chosen point of focus.

How do you know if it’s working?

At the beginning you might feel uncomfortable meditating—sitting for 20 minutes may cause your legs to fall asleep or cramp up, walking slowly may bring up feelings of impatience or agitation, and reclining poses may merely make you fall asleep. Conversely, you may have some profound experiences the first few times you sit, only to spend the next few frustrating days trying to duplicate them. Relax. Meditation shouldn’t cause you to feel unreasonably stressed or physically uncomfortable. If it does, reduce the length of your practice time or change your position (from walking to sitting; from sitting to standing). If that doesn’t work, go back to incorporating a few minutes of meditation into your asana practice instead of holding onto a formal practice. After a few days, try returning to your normal meditation routine.

If you continue having trouble with your meditation practice, you may need to seek the guidance of an experienced teacher or the support of a group that meets regularly to meditate together. Indications of your progress, with or without a teacher or group, are feelings of mental calm and physical comfort, and the ability to be present in all your experiences.

See also: The 12 Best Meditation Apps

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Yoga meditation: A beginner's guide

Source: Web exclusive: December 2010

When you think of doing yoga, your first association might be with the physical practice: moving through the yoga poses and practising yoga breathing. But meditation‘the act of focusing your mind’is also part of a well-rounded yoga experience.

Learning to meditate in yoga involves more than sitting still for a few moments each day. The reason? Your mind might still be sifting through a barrage of thoughts and worries. ‘Yoga meditation is about quieting a busy mind,’ says Wade Imre Morissette, a yoga teacher in Vancouver, B.C., and author of Transformative Yoga: Five Keys to Unlocking Inner Bliss. ‘The more you’re able to quiet your thoughts through yoga meditation, the more you experience a sense of true presence,’ he says. And being in the moment helps create that beneficial mind-body connection that yoga is known for.

How to meditate in yoga

The first step to successful meditation is practicing it often. But even in a class where the yoga teacher sets time aside for meditation, getting the hang of how to meditate can be quite challenging, whether you’re a beginner to yoga or you’ve been taking yoga classes for a while. Considering that serious yogis spend a lifetime honing the art of meditation, there’s no sense in pressuring yourself to perfect your own meditation technique after just a few sessions.

Yoga meditation for beginners

‘An easy way to learn how to meditate is to focus on the here and now,’ says Morissette. When you’re mindful about being in the moment, there’s no room for your attention to be pulled toward distracting thoughts about the past or future. ‘That can be very freeing,’ says Morissette.

He recommends beginning with active meditation, where you focus your thoughts on something specific. ‘The idea is to streamline your attention to only one thing at a time, like your breathing or gazing at a candle flame.

When you’re first trying out this meditation technique, says Morissette, be prepared for your mind to wander sometimes. Whenever you become aware that your thoughts have drifted, simply redirect your mental focus back to the present.

Want to give yoga meditation a try? Follow Morissette’s advice for getting started.

Set aside just a few minutes at first. Choose a time of day when you’re able to meditate without interruption. You might coordinate your meditation so you do it right before or after a physical yoga practice.

Sit with good posture either on the floor, cross-legged, or in a chair if it’s more comfortable. (If seated cross-legged, switch which leg is crossed on top each time you meditate.)

Gaze at a simple object such as a candle’s flame or a black dot written on a piece of paper. Or, close your eyes and home in on the rhythm of your yoga breathing.

‘ As you become more familiar with how to meditate, increase your practice by a minute or two at a time.

Finally, to avoid frustration, remember this common yoga meditation myth: ‘Meditating is not about achieving a blank mind,’ says Morissette. ‘It’s more about resisting the temptation to react to the thoughts that do pop into your head.’

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Meditation in yoga for beginners

by Svetlana Pokrovskaya
in Yoga

Even 15 years ago, meditation was considered some kind of sacral knowledge, available only to advanced Buddhist monks. But with today's frantic pace of life, an abundance of stress and an overabundance of communication, more and more people are turning to meditative practices to calm the mind and relax the body. Let's try to figure out what meditation is and how accessible it is to the "man in the street"?

In the most general sense, meditation (lat. " meditatio ", from " meditor " - I think, ponder) is a mental technique aimed at achieving a state of maximum concentration, in which there are almost no thoughts and feelings. Julia Hemenez , yoga teacher at NYM yoga, defines meditation as the contemplation of the inner space, most often achieved by focusing on the breath and bringing relaxation and calming the mind.

There are many variations of meditation practices, some of which have nothing to do with yoga or Eastern philosophy. Just like Julia Hemenes says, if you are already doing yoga, it will prepare your body physically, and meditation will become a natural continuation of the practice. But in modern conditions, this does not prevent those who are not familiar with yoga from starting to meditate. According to Yulia, now there are special pillows and benches, sitting comfortably on which you can relax and do a short meditation at the end and / or beginning of the working day.

For the average citizen, the expert advises the most basic relaxation techniques or ready-made complexes of the so-called “guided meditation”, which help both to start meditating and set specific tasks for the mind so that it does not wander during practice.

Our guide will help you learn the basics of meditation on your own and start meditating correctly.

Rules of meditation

1. Sit with a straight back

It is the sitting posture that is considered the most comfortable. It is not necessary to try to sit in the Turkish style or take the lotus position if these positions give you discomfort. The main rule is convenience. Place a pillow under your hips for maximum comfort. Imagine that you are being pulled up by the top of your head, and your spine is one straight line. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the practice.

2. Try to relax

Close your eyes and mentally walk through your body, stopping briefly at each of its parts. Start with your feet - feel how each toe relaxes. For simplicity, you can mentally say: “the little finger is relaxed, the ring finger is heavy and relaxed,” and so on to the very top of your head. Remember to relax your neck, eyes, face, chin, and tongue. Feel how your body becomes soft and heavy.

3. Don't move

After you have straightened your back and relaxed your body, try to fix this position and not move. Just sit and watch your condition. Feel how your body relaxes more and more. Be aware of what is happening around you, but do not react to it in any way. Just keep sitting still.

4. Concentrate on your breath

Put your full attention on your breath. Inhalations should be shorter than exhalations. Breathe deeply, but silently. Use your diaphragm when breathing to fill your lungs with oxygen. Try to feel how the air feels in your nose, throat, chest and stomach.

5. Use a mantra

A mantra is a sound, word or phrase to be repeated many times during meditation. Its purpose is to focus your attention. A short prayer, the word "Om" used in yogic practice, or any sound, such as "mmm", which causes vibrations in your body, is suitable as a mantra. For beginners in yoga, it is quite enough to simply repeat the words “inhale-exhale” simultaneously with breathing. You can say the mantra both silently and out loud.

6. Quiet your mind

As you focus on your breath or mantra, your mind begins to calm down and focus on the present. This does not mean that you will stop thinking. Thoughts will come and go, and your goal is simply to observe them while continuing to keep your attention on the breath or mantra. Let your mind remain calm. Some days you will be able to handle the flow of thoughts more easily, some days it will be more difficult, but this should not disturb you.

7. Choose music

Music performs the same function as breathing and mantra. It helps to calm the mind and focus on the present moment. Ideally, the musical composition should be monotonous, measured and not too complex, so as not to distract you from meditation. Such properties, for example, have the music of the artist Deva Premal, who is so loved by yoga instructors. For beginners in yoga and meditation, you can use ready-made collections “for meditation”, and then choose “your” artist.

Yulia Hemenes, yoga teacher, advises to carefully monitor your feelings. In her experience, music can both help tune in to breathing and distract, and this can only be understood by trial. Julia herself prefers to study either in silence, or to the latest techno and house music from Ibiza radio, because the rhythm of 110-120 beats per minute calms her down.

8. Don't sit too long

There is no universal length for meditation. According to Yulia, here, again, everything is very individual and depends not only on your feelings, but also on your lifestyle and daily schedule. In any case, those who are thinking about how to start meditating correctly are advised to start with short practices - from five to 10 minutes, which can be gradually lengthened. If it is important for you to be in this state for a fixed time, set yourself a timer. Better yet, limit your practice time to music. Also, one way is to decide in advance how many inhalations and exhalations you plan to take.

9. Come out of meditation correctly

When you are ready to end the practice, gradually return your attention to what is happening around you. Feel the changes in your body. Gently make circular motions with your fingers and toes. Move your arms and legs. Now open your eyes and stand up slowly.

10. Meditate regularly

When mastering the skills of meditation, it is not the duration of the practice that is more important, but its regularity. Short "sessions" of five minutes each day will be many times more effective than two hours of meditation once a week.

Time and place for meditation

Everyone who is just learning the technique of meditation almost always has questions about the time of day and the place of practice.

The ideal time to practice depends on the goal you set for yourself when you are about to start meditating.

For example, morning meditation right after waking up is ideal for those who are determined to practice regularly. It is during these hours that our mind is most relaxed, in addition, a five-minute morning meditation will provide you with a positive attitude for the day. Meditating in the middle of the day is a good way to "reset." Daily practice not only helps to relieve accumulated tension, but also stimulates creativity and increases mindfulness and productivity. But the purpose of the evening meditation is to draw a line between work and leisure. It is ideal for those people who want to leave work problems in the office, and not carry them home. In addition, short meditation sessions can be arranged throughout the day to calm nerves or relieve stress at times when you yourself feel that you need it. But it is not recommended to meditate right before going to bed. Otherwise, after a busy day, there is a danger that your practice will turn into sleep.

“Meditation in the early morning before dawn and in the evening after or during sunset is the standard,” says Julia Hemenes, while noting that she herself performs practices during the day.

The perfect place to practice. For those who are just about to start meditating, it is easiest to relax at home in a familiar environment and alone with yourself. But gradually you will learn to meditate in other places as well. For example, you can get a great boost of energy by practicing outdoors to the sound of birds singing or the sound of water. And a short meditation in transport on the way home will help get rid of the stress accumulated during the day.

“Meditation is a training for the mind, which we must train in the same way as we train the body,” notes Julia Hemenes. — It is meditation practice that teaches us to be more concentrated and calm. But most importantly, it teaches us to observe ourselves through our reactions and the reactions of our mind. Meditation is a real practice of self-discovery with our own responsibility, it is a real panacea for the inhabitants of a big city, as it teaches the silence that we lack so much here.


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how to meditate at home and how to start and learn on your own

Everyone knows the word meditation. But what is it? In the literature (modern and classical, religious and secular) one can find different approaches to understanding meditation.

Meditation for beginners

Meditation for beginners refers to a wide range of practices that include methods designed to promote relaxation, cultivate inner energy and vitality (chi, prana, etc.), develop compassion and love, patience, generosity and forgiveness.

And all these benefits are indeed a pleasant "side" effect of the practice of meditation. There are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice and many different types of meditation, you will find a description of many of them on our resource.

Meditation is:

  • a relaxed state of awareness;

  • a technique that involves the exploration of the reason by the mind in order to achieve certain goals;

  • a practice aimed at becoming aware of one's content without identifying oneself with the content being studied.

How to meditate correctly?

If you are wondering “how to meditate properly”, but have not yet begun to practice, then perhaps you are overwhelmed by doubts, why do it, how long does it take, do you need special skills, where to start, how to meditate at home?

In this article we will try to collect and consider the most popular questions of beginners, as well as misconceptions that prevent you from starting to meditate.

What's the point?

For centuries, people have been meditating in search of peace, happiness, transformation or control of their own consciousness.

If a person really feels satisfied with what he has and who he is, then more often he does not think about the need for self-knowledge.

But in most cases, people come to yoga, meditation, when they feel an inner hunger - a feeling that there is something bright inside, something vast and divine, but a person does not have access to it. This inner hunger comes from a spiritual need.

The purpose of meditation is to learn to control the most valuable instrument of each person - mind, attention. After all, the state of mind is a determining factor in the feeling of happiness and success in all spheres of life.

A person can have all the benefits and still feel unhappy, or, on the contrary, have very little, but feel in harmony with himself and the world around him.

Look around, watch yourself and your loved ones, media people in the field of sports, politics, show business - no amount of material wealth, physical skills and resources will help a person become happy and peaceful if the way of thinking is negative and unconstructive.

Meditation will not solve your problems at home, at work, in society. But it will give you much more - the potency to cope with any events (good and negative) that occur in your life, give you strength and teach you to let go of unnecessary emotions, feelings, thoughts.

Meditation helps you master your own mind by working on one of its key aspects: attention. After all, everything that we pay our attention to exists for us.

Having mastered the ability to fix your attention only on what you need, you will be able to filter and not miss the negative points, as well as everything that is not useful for you.

Thus, meditation for beginners is a powerful tool for working with consciousness, which will ultimately enable you to create and receive what you want.

Relaxation or self-hypnosis?

In fact, relaxation is just one of the main effects of meditation. On the other hand, it is one of the conditions for successful meditation.

If you are focused on practice and not tense, this will help you achieve deep realizations, will allow you to work with consciousness. Therefore, when it comes to "guided meditation" (yoga nidra, scanning the body in order to relax it, etc.) - this is not meditation in the proper sense of the word.

Of course, such practices are good, because relax and help relieve stress. But meditation is a deeper practice, working with consciousness in the first place.

Meditation is also not hypnosis (or self-hypnosis), during which there is a verbal suggestion to see and feel certain things. For this, the creative capabilities of the brain are used - imagination, visualization are used.

Meditation also does not usually use imagination or the cultivation of emotions (except for certain types of practices, such as Loving-Kindness meditation).

How to learn to meditate?

In modern sources you can find such a huge number of types of meditations and techniques, with a description of the process, effects and other things, that it is not necessary to search for this guru.

There are very serious techniques that have a great impact on the state of mind and even on physical well-being, so they are best practiced in special centers or under the supervision of an experienced practitioner.

But most types of meditation are suitable for beginners, which you can start practicing on your own - at home, in nature, even at work. To do this, you only need a little time and a convenient place.

You don't have to follow any strict rituals or wear special clothes to meditate. Someone prefers to prepare a place and space for meditation (using singing bowls, mantras and music, incense, images of deities and saintly personalities), as they see it as a necessity and help in preparing the mind for meditation - but all these actions are not essential for practices.

Of course, meditation was originally practiced to achieve spiritual enlightenment and was used in Eastern religious rites, which have certain attributes, adherence to strict rules. But, like most techniques that have come from the east to the west, meditation today may not actually have anything religious under it. You can practice meditation as a simple exercise for the sake of health and well-being.

By the way, believers of absolutely any religion can practice without any conflict with their faith. In addition, today there are many methods and types of meditation, many of which were developed not by religious apologists, but, for example, by scientists and philosophers (we have considered some of these types of meditation in separate articles).

"No time" to meditate?

We strongly recommend that you observe your everyday life: for one week, pay attention to all the time you spend in front of the screen (TV, phone, computer).

Record the time spent each day. Now set aside 20% of that time for meditation. Do you have time now? And, probably, this is at least 10 minutes a day?

In the modern pace of life, watching TV, reading social media feeds for the majority of the active population is a way to escape from everyday problems. But just try changing the way you relax a little. We are confident in the result.

You will definitely feel better after meditation sessions - more relaxed, more focused, more rested. And it's free! All this is worth a few minutes of your time.

Many people find that after they start meditating they have even more free time. And all because attention begins to focus only on what is really needed!

Suddenly and absolutely organically, you will find that you have been spending a lot of time on actions, experiences, events that are not useful to you at all.

How to start meditating at home

  1. Start small: practice 1-3 minutes a day. Gradually increase the time by a couple of minutes. As a result, you will be able to devote the right amount of time in accordance with the type of meditation you have chosen.

  2. Make a habit of meditation for yourself. Every morning, the first thing you do after waking up, take this couple of minutes of meditation.

    You can also practice in the evenings. Set a reminder on your phone and don't hesitate - even if you're tired, want to sleep, you're lazy and there are other excuses - just start.

  3. Do not evaluate yourself : how successful you are doing it, whether you are doing/sitting/thinking/not thinking correctly. The very fact of regular practice strengthens willpower, gradually develops your inner mastery, and, of course, has a positive effect on your psychophysical well-being.

    In the "meditation" section of our resource you can learn about the wide possibilities and effects that people have discovered as a result of the practice of meditation, including scientifically confirmed ones, and also get an answer to the question of how to meditate correctly.

  4. Do you notice that the mind wanders? Do not get annoyed, but smile and just gently return to the breath.

    For those who are trying to learn to meditate on their own, it is often difficult at first, because the head is set to fight any thoughts that arise. But for practice there should be no fight , no suppression!

    Fighting thoughts will, in the long run, simply strengthen them. The only thing that needs to be done in meditation is to consciously divert attention from the internal dialogue, focusing on something else (depending on the goals and methodology chosen). At the same time, the mind will slowly but surely calm down.

    For example, when you are working with concentration and suddenly loud music starts playing nearby, the more you try to “not hear” the music, the more you will pay attention to it and get annoyed. But if you make an effort and focus on your work, after a few moments you will stop hearing the music.

    Therefore, do not deliberately try to empty and calm the mind. Simply follow the instructions for your chosen meditation technique.

  5. Tune in to practice and don't expect incredible results right away.

    Meditation is a process. And this process not only brings its fruits and positive results, but is also valuable in itself.

    Enjoy the process! Refuse to compare and expect, do not criticize yourself if you have not yet felt anything as a result of practice. Then meditation will not be difficult and will become just a pleasant and healthy ritual for you.

    Research shows that meditation brings tremendous physical and mental benefits after just 8 weeks of daily practice. And it's not such a long time.

    Of course, hermit monks who meditate around the clock achieve greater results and deeper realizations in less time than a person who started practicing 10 minutes a day a month ago.

    But this little step of yours will be one of the most important contributions to your life and to the future - at least it will be better health, more peace in the soul and harmony in life. Most people can start getting this within a few weeks of starting the practice.

Remember that the most difficult step in any endeavor is to move from theory to practice.

Just start practicing with any kind of meditation. First you will need to take the time to learn how to learn how to meditate in a particular technique, you will begin to gain experience that will accumulate and be transmitted to all other untried meditation techniques.

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