Updated: Aug 14
The Benefits of Meditation are almost too numerous to mention. In all areas - physical, mental, emotional, psychological and Spiritual. There is a reason why it has been practiced in many cultures for thousands of years.. You may ask "is it really worth it for me to meditate?" The Answer is a resounding YES!!
What is Meditation?
Many people often believe that meditation is about stopping thoughts and getting rid of emotions, but this is NOT the goal of meditative practices. Instead, meditation is about observing your thoughts and wandering mind, acknowledging them, and learning to let them go and focus on the present.
This does not involve any judgment, you are simply reminding yourself to come
back to the present moment. Instead of getting caught up in your thoughts, you can return to the state of observing them. It is a common misconception that people believe their mind is too busy and that means they are not good at meditating, but this is incorrect. Anybody can meditate.
The changes, realizations and benefits of meditation accumulate over time.
There is no quick fix or instant enlightenment!
It may be hard at first to learn to observe and calm your busy mind without judgment, but that does not mean you are bad at it or incapable, it just takes practice. And there are steps you can take as a beginner to help.
You do not need to sit down and try to clear your mind for hours, you can start out with meditating for just a few minutes.
Yoga's compliment to meditation
Yoga practices are a way to prepare your body for meditation and encourage mindfulness and awareness. There are countless types of meditations, however, the practice of Mindfulness is a simple and popular type. This meditation practice refers to the basic ability to be fully present and aware and not overwhelmed. It is a mindset that can be brought into your daily life and involves observing your thoughts, breath, or physical sensations, and all of these actions are involved in yoga. Stepping on to your mat not only prepares you mentally but physically as well. The asanas taken in Yoga practices allow you to stretch and lengthen your entire body making sitting in meditation much more comfortable.
Meditation is much simpler than most people believe, and here are some steps you can take to get started.
1. Sit down in a calm and quiet place.
Try sitting on a yoga block to elevate your hips and leaning up against a wall for spinal support and see how that feels in your body.
2. Set a time limit for yourself.
You can start out with just a few minutes. Use a timer but put all other devices on silent or do not disturb
3. Notice how your body and breath feel.
Focus on that sensation of your breath throughout your body. Try to follow the breath throughout each cycle of inhale and exhale and notice where you feel it and how.
4. Notice when your mind has wandered and redirect your focus back to your breath.
Be kind to your wandering mind and do not judge yourself. Acknowledge your thoughts and the fact that they are there and then come back to the present (Check out setting an intention blog)..
5. Close your practice gently and with kindness by taking a moment to notice your
surrounding environment, how your body feels, and your thoughts and emotions.
Open your eyes and come back to the space you are in and take it all in. At A Dancing Yogi, we promote ending each practice whether its meditation or yoga by acknowledging what we are grateful for. Completing the practice of compassion for ourselves and others.