Are you curious about meditation? Or have started but just cant seem to switch off? Maybe you just want to finesse your technique and try reach samadhi? Try these of the top tips below to help you improve your meditative practice.
As a not-so-zen yogi, here are my top tips to help you improve your meditation skills. Whilst the first few may seem obvious if you meditate regularly, it is still worth covering the basics before moving forward:
1) Make sure you have a distraction free setting for your meditation - whether that means sitting in an empty room; going to a library; or even putting on some noise-cancelling headphones and a pair of sunglasses - a peaceful setting is important.
2) Make yourself warm and comfortable - you can sit bolt upright on the floor; lean against a wall; lie down completely (try not to fall asleep); even if you choose to lie in a flotation tank, whatever is comfortable for you is best!
3) Do a mental scan of your body - Do you have any aches and pains? Are you anxious or stressed about anything? Is the way you've decided to sit actually comfortable for you?
4) Once the above has been satisfied, you can actually begin!
5) Spend the first few minutes focusing solely on your breathing taking deep breaths.
6) Your mind will inevitably start to wander... Did I leave my straighteners on? Do I need to book an MOT soon? Why haven't they text me back yet?! I feel like I've been sat here for hours, but it's only been 2 minutes ... acknowledge any thoughts you have, but don't dwell on them. Once you catch your mind wandering, bring it back to focusing on your breathing.
7) Be okay with being uncomfortable - as you get used to meditating, you will notice discomfort after a period of time. This is perfectly normal, as long as it isn't causing you physical pain, it is just your body adapting to being in a new position.
8) Focus. Once you're settled and you are getting into the swing of meditation, you can set an "intention" for your meditation and then move your focus to different aspects of your body e.g. focus on your root chakra, your third eye, the colours/images you see whilst meditating.
9) Finish your meditation whenever you're ready. If you sat down for 2 minutes or 2 hours, your body will know when it is time for you to come back to your daily life and get on with things.
10) Observe everything. Pay attention to how you're feeling: are those pains and worries you had at the start of your meditation still fighting for your attention? Do you feel more at peace? Do colours suddenly seem more vivid? Have you suddenly realised there is one task, place or person that is at the forefront of your mind? Acknowledge all of these observations, and if you want to, write it down.
11) Repeat your meditation practice every day if you can - I get it, we all have busy lives and some days it may not be possible to find even 5 minutes to simply sit down. But if you can, try practice every day.
So that's it, those are my top tips to help you become a pro at meditation! If you have any additional tips or want to share your experiences, please comment below!