- Sitting on a cushion or a chair. Do not slouch, but your back does not need to be straight-forward either. At first, you may want to try sitting against a wall to support your back. Use extra pillows under your knees or anywhere else to make you comfortable.
- Try lying down, if sitting to meditate is unappealing. Miriam Austin, author of Meditation for Wimps recommends lying on the floor with her hands resting on a chair.
- Put on music. Turn it off once you begin.
- Set a digital (non-ticking) timer. Start with five minutes and work your way up to 1
- Breathe normally through your nose, with your mouth closed. Your eyes can be open or closed. Focus on the breath moving in and out of your nostrils, or on the rise and fall of your belly.
- When you notice your mind wandering, bring it gently back to the breath. Be careful not to drift off; this will be tempting, especially if you're lying down. While shutting off your mind is not the goal of meditation, neither is judging the meditative process. No matter what feelings or thoughts you have, simply bring your focus back to the breath again. And again.
As with anything new, once you've tried meditation, you're bound to hit a snag or two.
Meditation problem: "My mind races."
Why it happens: That's the way your mind works.
How to work with it: Try counting your breath, or repeating a word or phrase (as "peace" or "one") silently to yourself. Victor Davich, author of 8-Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind, Change Your Life "The practice of meditation is not about suppressing thought, but surpassing it." , You may want to try a meditation to quiet your mind and develop your focus.
Meditation problem: "I fall asleep."
Why does it happen: It's a natural response when you're out of the office! " re relaxed.
How to work with it: When you tend to fall asleep, try sitting up while meditating. Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass. Says: "It's normal to feel sluggish." "Remember to keep your spine straight, and try opening your eyes." Focus softly on a spot in front of you. (If you want to fall asleep, try this 5-minute yoga meditation for before bed.)
Meditation problem: "I can not sit still."
Why it happens Your body and mind restless.
How to work with it: Try a walking meditation: Walk at your usual pace or slower, indoors or out. Synchronize the rhythm of your breathing with your steps. Gaze ahead calmly with your eyes lowered. Notice the contact of your feet with the ground. Focus on your breath and on walking. (Bonus: Health Benefits You Can Get Walking Just 30 Minutes a Day)
Meditation Problem: My back (or knees or butt) hurts.
Why it happens: You may need to adjust your body, or you may just be tired or restless.
How To Work With It: "Just sitting still is an enormous challenge for most of us, "Bodian says. But if it is just restlessness and if so, try to sit with it. "
Meditation problem: I do not have time to meditate.
Why it happens: You're busy and feeling overwhelmed.
How to work with it: You can carve out the time. Really. Set your alarm clock to get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning or try meditating before the late-night news, Bodian suggests. If it's just for 10 minutes a day. Davich agrees: "All you need is time and consistency." And that makes life more enjoyable. " [Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care]
Why it happens Your preconceived notions about what meditation may be getting in your way
How to work with it: Aim simply for increased awareness of your breath. Try to avoid unrealistic expectations that something monumental is going to occur. Bodian says, "In some ways, meditation is like building muscle." The repetitions with weights are not exactly exciting, but you know the ultimate goal is valuable. "
When all else fails, says Salzberg.
Your experience of meditation is very personal. For some people, it is easy to become aware of the thoughts that have always crossed their minds. For others, meditating is a feeling of intense concentration, and for others, it is a deeply relaxed yet highly alert state. The truth is, each meditator probably gets a taste of each of these states-and-many others-in the course of a session.
The bottom line? No matter what you are feeling, you just can not do it wrong.