We know now beyond any doubt that managing symptoms of stress is the most profound health care practice you can engage in for a total re-evaluation of your health and wellbeing. One of the most profound allies we will ever have is the power of a clear directed mind in a state of alpha relaxation. We can accomplish this through the experience of various Mindfulness Meditation techniques.
This was not news to the ancient yogis. Throughout the long history of yogic techniques for relaxation and health, the practice of meditation has been the key element that holds the practice together. When we learn to become aware of the possibilities and strategies that each of the eight limbs of yoga offers, we can learn to engage all of our senses and become the union of body mind and spirit that the practice of yoga truly represents. (See the Yokibics ebook 40 SIMPLE STEPS if you would like a practical guide to living this magnificent system with all eight limbs.)
Today, listening to a guided audio program can offer you a precious commodity to help you along in your practice: time. Time for yourself to just… simply… be. Time to focus on your recovery from busyness in a mindful relaxed state. Time to enter a more centered way of moving, thinking and feeling that you will be able to bring into your everyday experience of healing and rejuvenation.
You needn’t be physically skilled in order to meditate, although you will be asked to readjust your posture and breath.
You don’t need to think, although you will need to use your mind.
And you don’t need to worry – the point is for you to have a timeout to focus and just ‘be’ guided…
When listening to guided meditations, there are various techniques that you will be offered, and each separate technique does stands alone, yet together they form an interconnected web that will embrace you with a total state of relaxation and ease.
Some preparation will be helpful so that you aren’t disturbed, so begin by setting the stage. Make sure you have a quiet atmosphere by turning off the phone, closing the door, or setting up a ‘do not disturb’ sign. Really give yourself the gift of a media-free zone for this process.
Next, unwind your body, stretching your back, neck, and legs before settling down to listen.
I suggest at the opening of each meditation that you sit up in a chair in a balanced way with a long yet relaxed posture, and you can always lie down if you prefer.
Finally, give yourself permission to simply put yourself first for a bit of time to enjoy the moments of focused ease.
Some guidelines for a successful practice include:
- Incorporate meditation daily for short intervals of time.
- Meditation, like adeptness at a sport, requires perseverance. Realize that you cannot master the clear mind of meditation in a day.
- It’s best to keep meditation simple as you’re learning.
- Use deep breathing as a point of focus.
- There are a host of expert audio programs to help guide your beginning meditations, and being guided allows you to feel supported as you’re learning to relax your mind.
- It’s common to wonder, “am I doing this right?..” You are doing it right if a feeling of peace is the result.
Here’s a simple practice for today from Buddhist meditation teacher Thich Nhat Hanh…you can say the words to yourself and be your own best guide!
Breathing in, I calm
Breathing out, I smile.
Give yourself a few moments of this gift and you’ll find an oasis of peace right in front of you.