Tips on Establishing a Meditation Practice
Have you tried to establish a meditation routine before and found it a challenge to maintain? Perhaps you have allowed the busyness to take over or haven’t been able to work it back into your already jam packed day.
Below I have compiled a list of tips to help you establish and maintain a meditation practice at home. Hopefully there are one or two that will work for you. Remember this is your practice and no one can tell you what you need or how you need to do it, so make it your own! The tips I have offered are merely suggestions that you may find helpful. It is important to be flexible, be open to change, be kind to yourself and keep your intention for meditation at the heart of your practice. There is no failing at meditation, only learning and evolving. So, no time like the present!
Make it special. Have a special cushion, blanket or light a candle, put on some relaxing music, use aromatherapy to make this time and space sacred for you. This will help you to establish a ritual and remind you of the importance of this time spent in meditation.
Couple it with something you already do everyday. For example, brush your teeth, then meditate. Have a shower, then meditate. Have a cup of tea, then meditate. Take a walk then meditate. This will help you establish a routine because it will naturally become part of your daily self-care routine.
Bookend your day with meditation. Before you get out of bed in the morning, spend 5 minutes connecting to your breath before you get up and go about your day. At the end of the day before you go to sleep, spend a few minutes reconnecting and settling down to allow your body and mind to come to a natural place of rest for a quality sleep.
Focus on the quality of the meditation not how long you meditate for. In the beginning, consistency is more important in establishing a routine than the length of time you commit to sit. So begin with 5 minutes or an amount of time that is manageable for you, and add 1 or 2 minutes each week to build on it. Aiming eventually for 20 – 30 minutes a day.
Sit on a chair or on a cushion on the floor, keep your spine straight and comfortable. Experiment with a few different props and positions to find one that suits you. You don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor to be meditating “correctly”. Every body is different, so remember it doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as it feels good for you!
Try moving with meditation. If you struggle to find a comfortable position to sit in add a bit of movement. Try a walking meditation, dancing or drawing while being mindful and aware of your body and quality of thoughts. Then after the movement, sit for a few moments and notice how you feel.
Join a local meditation group. It can be so helpful to share this journey with others in a group. Coming together to meditate is a wonderful thing to do for your personal practice. You are able to learn new techniques and receive guidance from the teacher. In addition you are surrounded by likeminded people who can support and help you feel connected to that network of positive and loving energy.