Practising meditation offers a huge range of physical, mental and emotional benefits for people of all ages, physical abilities and lifestyles. And whilst starting meditation may seem daunting to those who have never tried the discipline before, it is actually incredibly simple to get started.
If you’re interested in starting meditation, and are unsure how to commence, seeking a little expert input is a wise place to start. So, to help you on your way, we have compiled seven tips from meditation experts keen to share their knowledge and passion with the world. Read on to become a master of meditation.
Amisha from Inner Space believes that finding the perfect time to practice will help you commit, and provide a setting more conducive to effective meditation.
“Meditate before you start the day to set a positive tone for the day. For example, you can focus on the thought, ‘happy’, hold it in your mind and then let the thought turn into a feeling; think, feel and be. Meditate before bedtime to unwind and create a restful mind for a restful sleep. For instance, visualise yourself standing under a waterfall, and feel the cool water cascade over you, washing away all the tension from the day.”
Amisha continues to suggest that your busy life shouldn’t get in the way of meditation, and that meditating during your daily tasks could help you get into the swing of things.
“Meditate with eyes open and you can meditate on the go. When you're walking, bring a feeling of calm into your movements. As you eat and drink, be mindful and fully present. When you're stressed, take a minute to breathe slowly, breathe deeply and release the stress.”
A final one from Amisha, about dealing with distractions and a wandering mind.
“If something or someone disrupts your focus, let it go and focus despite the distractions. If and when your attention wanders, bring your attention back to the meditation.
If you can’t stop thinking, instead of trying to stop your thoughts, try to create a space between you and your thoughts; because you are not your thoughts. This means that even when the mind is full and frenzied, you can still create a quiet calm moment. And if you really can't focus, just sit for a bit and allow yourself to do nothing.”
This is a common piece of advice which many people starting meditation will be offered – however, it can seem easier said than done. Ntathu from Yoga Inspires offers this eight-step guide to help you correctly observe your breath.
1. Lying on your back, on your bed; turn your attention to your breath
2. Don’t change your breath, just observe the way you breathe
3. Gradually, take a steady breath in through your nose and slowly exhale through your nose
4. Don’t change or force anything
5. Just lay still and focus on the movement of your breath – from your belly to your ribs and upper chest
6. Any time you notice your attention wandering away from observing your breath, simply acknowledge your thoughts and gently bring your awareness back to the breath
7. Stay still and continue in this practice for 2-5 minutes
8. Gently open your eyes and slowly re-engage with your day
Meditation is often a case of mind over matter, and that is no truer than when starting. Mindfulness master, Tom Evans, offers three reasons to start meditating, giving you the motivation.
“While some people use meditation to relax and others use it to deal with anxiety, there is another smarter reason to treat yourself to at least 10 minutes of ‘Me Time’ each and every day. It’s also now becoming accepted by scientists that meditation helps us live better for longer.
When we meditate each day, we become much more productive, we become luckier and we become more attractive too.
#1 The reason for the increase in productivity is that the normal human mind can only experience one thought at a time. So, if we are thinking about the past or the future, we lose focus on what we are doing right now. Meditation helps us marshal our thoughts and control our wandering ‘monkey mind’.
#2 The reason we become luckier is that our minds become quieter and less frenetic. This helps us better spot coincidences and serendipities.
#3 The reason we become more attractive is that meditation increases our energy and vitality. We glow and shine in a new way - and lose some wrinkles at the same time.”
Nikki Waters of Business Minded believes effective meditation begins when we cast aside preconceptions.
“It is natural for people new to meditation to have preconceived ideas about what it is like, what is right or wrong, good or bad. Unfortunately, such expectations can result in us striving towards a goal, trying to make things the way we want them to be, getting frustrated and judging ourselves. Instead of doing this, allow yourself to put your expectations to one side and approach meditation with open-mindedness and curiosity, after all, your experience of meditation is unique to you and is also likely to change from meditation to meditation. You will find that this approach helps you to become less judgemental, more accepting and notice more about your experience of meditation.”
The final tip is from the team here, at Parks. We believe that a positive environment can really help you start meditating effectively. A calming setting is perfect for those who are looking to turn off the distractions of the modern world and really connect with their inner self.
To create such a setting, we’d recommend picking the quietest room of the house, remove all distractions and technologies, and furnish with comfortable fittings. It’s important that all the senses are attuned to the meditation process, so ensure the décor is soft and the air is full of fresh fragrances – perhaps those found in this range.
For more fragrances to help you get started with meditation, head over to our homepage and peruse the candles and room diffusers with all your favourites scents.