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Meditation for Beginners – Debunking myths and mistakes

Meditation can wipe away the stress of a difficult day and bring you inner peace. So, why does it stress people out? Learn how you can easily practice meditation wherever you are when you need it most!

If stress has you riddled with anxiety, tension and worry, why not consider trying meditation? Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.

The best part is that you can practice it wherever you are—whether you’re on a walk, riding in a taxi, waiting in a queue, or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.

Understanding Meditation

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It was originally meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life, but these days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction.

Nowadays, you would be surprised at the types of people who practice daily meditation – global superstars with the busiest schedules like DJs, singers and actors.  Athletes.  Gym sharks.  You name it! Meditation has become a staple in their lives because it became a necessity to bring ones-self back to the present moment to calm down.

During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

Benefits of meditation

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. The benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may help you manage symptoms of certain medical conditions.

Why Meditate? By Vandana

Just like everything else, meditation either has a place in your life or it doesn’t. With the realisation that you can choose your own course to bring yourself to a meditative state of consciousness and awareness, would you make the time for yourself to enjoy the benefits that this practise has to offer?

Several studies have demonstrated that subjects who meditated for a short time showed some health benefits such as increased alpha waves (relaxed brain activity). For someone who meditates regularly, or even daily, the process does take on the likeness of an addiction, but a healthy one, of course. Research has even indicated that meditation helps one to improve creative abilities, emotional intelligence, and improves scores in IQ testing.

Regardless of whether you consider meditation as a process or as a state of being, its key benefits include:

  • Improving self-awareness and mental clarity, enabling the practitioner to manage challenging situations more effectively.
  • Bringing about a sense of calm, peace, and balance, thereby helping you to manage and reduce stress.
  • Improving your blood flow and sense of vitality.
  • Enhancing the body’s immune system and can also reduce pain.

Find your bliss, do what you do to feel good about yourself, and reach this meditative state of being while not harming your body in any way.

What Meditation is and What is Not. By Didier

One of the greatest misconceptions about meditation and a huge stumbling block when many people try to get started is the idea that meditation is turning off your mind when it’s not that at all. People get anxious even at the thought of silencing their minds, and this is obviously not the point.

I liken our minds to the cinema. We walk through life, and our lives can be looked at like movies, but the truth is that you are not merely that movie, and you can change your script by changing your thinking. I won’t say that it’s easy. It requires practice, but it is possible with dedication.

People also have unrealistic expectations about meditation. They seem to think that its benefits can be attained in one hour or just one class, and this is not the case at all. You need to commit to making it a part of your life on a daily basis for at least a few months to feel its benefits. The more you do, the easier it gets.

Another thing that’s important to know about meditation is that the best time to try it is after having practiced your Asanas in a Hatha yoga class. You shouldn’t just try to meditate after a long hard day at work, because you will be too stressed to focus, and your efforts aren’t likely to succeed. Asana flows will unblock your mind and prepare your body for meditation. Relaxing your muscles relaxes your mind.

Tips for Getting Started Meditating by Joelle

  1. Just start by observing breath sensations, observing and being aware of your daily compulsive thoughts.
  2. Everyone struggles to quiet the mind when they begin meditation and many realise how difficult it is and how many thoughts distract us. This causes a lot of people to give up too quickly because our first attempts can feel disastrous and counter-productive. Just like everything in life it takes patience and dedication for a new habit to be instilled. With consistent short meditation practice daily—just 5 minutes a day can get your started—you can begin training your mind to automatically instill that new habit, and it does get easier with practise and time especially as one starts seeing its benefits.
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