A beginners guide to meditation
Meditation trains the mind the way physical exercise strengthens the body. – Sharon Salzburg – Meditation Teacher
Meditation is an ancient Eastern practice, that has crossed over into the modern mainstream. It has become a go-to method for calming the mind from the stresses and strains of life.
I have been meditating consistently for around 4 years now. Ever since I came across the art and practice of Qi Gong (movement meditation) as part of my Chinese Medicine Masters studies. And then when I learnt the Ayurvedic practice of healing Indian Head Massage I taught myself a transcendental meditation in order to help my clients relax into the treatment. As an amateur Yogi I love the progressive relaxation guided meditation that is the basis for some Yoga Nidra practice.
Just from this short introduction you can see that Meditation comes in many forms – there are around 9 “mainstream” types. But the thing about this healing practice is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. The point of it being about altering consciousness, finding awareness and achieving peace. Therefore what is more important is finding a way which works for you, your personality, your preferences, and what you need to achieve from it.
Benefits of Meditation
During these challenging times where juggling work with care responsibilities, where restrictions can lead to a sense of claustrophobia and cabin fever, and the general heightened stress of being in a situation outside of our control, finding something that can be done from home which has all of these benefits is a gift.
According to the online health journal Healthline.com, there are evidence based benefits of meditation.
- stress reduction
- anxiety control
- self-awareness increase
- sleep improvement
- emotional wellbeing promotion
- attention space increase
- pain control
Meditation has no age restriction, minimum ability level or equipment – so it truly is a freely accessible self-healing tool.
My recommendation would be to explore the options but don’t overthink it, put on some comfy clothes and a quiet, safe, warm space and get started. I find that lighting a candle or placing a crystal in front of your line of vision acts as a really good unobstrusive focal point.
The trick is not to give up before it becomes a habit. Like starting any new habit or practice, it takes time and effort to get used to and start feeling the benefits.
Apps to help you get started
There are several free apps out there, which help you get started, with upgrades available once you get going.
- Buddhify (also great for kids).
- Insight Times.
I have several meditation teachers in my free Facebook group for women “the Wellbeing Lounge”. If you fancy learning more about this wonderful self-care practice, I would be happy to welcome more members and make some introductions!
Kate Morris-Bates – InsideOut Wellness Founder, Coach, Acupuncturist