Want To Meditate To Your Fullest Potential? Here Are Our Top Tips For Better Meditation
1. Prepare Your Body
A key to meditation that is often not talked about is the preparation of your body before beginning to meditate. Warming up and stretching your body before practicing meditation will make it much easier for your body to remain still.
You want to begin meditation with your body feeling completely relaxed, warm and with good circulation as this will increase your comfort in stillness.
Yoga teacher John Thurman notes the importance of this saying “if you have discomfort or pain while sitting, meditation will be challenging!”
Learn more about our suggested yoga poses to get your body ready for meditation.
2. Find A Comfortable Seat
In order to meditate for any length of time you need to find a place of ease where you feel relaxed and comfortable, making sure you are not holding any tension in your body. It’s important to maintain the integrity of your posture and your spine should have the same natural curve as when you’re standing.
Always remember this is YOUR practice so find what feels good for you, not everybody meditates in full lotus position! You might want to use props like blocks, cushions or blankets for support, or if sitting on the floor is not accessible to you try meditating while seated on a chair.
It is always better to take the time to get settled and comfortable before you begin your meditation so that you are not fidgeting later.
3. Same Time, Same Place
Consistency is crucial for meditation, and the easiest way to be consistent with it is to develop it as a habit. Make your meditation a beautiful ritual that you practice at the same time each day so it becomes part of your daily routine just like brushing your teeth.
Yogi Aaron suggests this is actually the most crucial step:
“Establishing a routine is the hardest thing to do, and yet the most essential. Whatever the practice you are doing, find yourself in the same place and as close to the same time as you possibly can. Once you establish your routine, you will find the depth and meaning you are looking for. But until the routine is established, the depths of the practice will never truly manifest themselves.”
Sunrise and sunset are ideal times for meditation. Practicing first thing in the morning puts you in a calm and grounded headspace to start your day, and the evening is a great way to still the mind before sleep.
Create your own sacred space for meditation, it could be a corner of the room, a small altar or your favorite spot by the window.
4. Start Small
Be kind to yourself and set realistic and achievable goals for your meditation practice, especially if you are new to meditation. You wouldn’t decide to start running and begin with a marathon, and meditation is no different.
Start by practicing for six minutes each day and once you are able to do that with ease you can begin to lengthen the amount of time in small increments. This will also give you a feeling of achievement so that you don’t become frustrated and feel like you’re “failing”.
5. Release Your Expectations
Do not go into meditation expecting instant gratification or to see immediate results from your practice. Instead meditate with the intention of bringing stillness and calm into your life, being truly present and open minded.
Sitting with the mind and body in stillness sounds simple but is much easier said than done! Initially, you might not feel like you are ‘doing it right’, or worry that you are not having any of the profound experiences other people talk about. Don’t be discouraged, meditation takes patience and commitment!
As long as you are showing up each day and being consistent with your practice you are doing it, and you will reap the benefits. No effort is wasted, every time you practice you are paving the path for your meditation practice in the future, and there is often more happening that is apparent.
Stay consistent and persistent with your practice as the cumulative result over time is where you will get the real benefits.
About The Author
Raised on a farm in Australia Emma went to boarding school in Sydney where she also attended university and then worked as a commercial lawyer. A few years ago, after what she refers to as her “quarter life crisis”, she quit her job and moved overseas to travel the world and hasn’t looked back! Her love of yoga took her to study in Rishikesh India, and later to Blue Osa as a volunteer. A lover of the great outdoors her other passions include horse riding, scuba diving, hiking and skiing.
Keep up with Emma’s global adventures here.