In today’s frantic and fast-paced world, everything seems to happen at breakneck speed. Now more than ever it’s vital that you take care of yourself so you remain calm and happy throughout the day.
Thankfully, tools like yoga and meditation provide your mind and body with an opportunity to learn to deal with stress in an effective way.
Meditation and yoga exercise the mind. Just as your body needs regular exercise to remain fit and healthy, so does your mind. Once you practice these disciplines regularly, you’ll be equipped to relax in even the most stressful situations. Your mind will stay at peace while you keep your body fit.
Try these easy tips to fill your life with the peace and happiness you crave through yoga and meditation:
Make time to meditate
We are sure you’ve heard it before but we all get the same 24 hours in a day. Yes, you must decide that you will “make” the time for the practice. Meditation can be done anywhere and at any time. Once you’ve practiced meditation for a while, you’ll find that your natural response to stress will be to meditate and relax.
It is recommend that you practice early in the morning before starting the day for maximum effectiveness and set the tone for the rest of your day.
Many forms of meditation can be done – you can do it lying down, sitting up in a chair, cross legged on the floor, even out on a nature walk.
This is a photo from one of our favorite trails where we live up in Washington where we do our morning meditation walk.
Children can use meditation to increase their concentration and mental focus.
Meditation is also a good way for the elderly to keep mentally fit.
Find a good place to meditate
If you can a wonderful place to practice meditation is in an open space, like a park, garden, the beach, even on your back deck. This ensures proper oxygen intake and revitalizes the body.
Find a place where you can spend a few minutes without being interrupted. Seek a room or outdoor location that contains as few distractions as possible to maximize the effectiveness of your meditation.
Focus on your breathing
The key to being able to relax on demand, even in the most stressful situations, is to learn to breathe in a way that supports your body.
Your stomach should stick out when you breathe in, as your lungs fill up with air.
At first, you’ll need to consciously focus on your breathing. The more you practice, the quicker effective breathing will become second nature. And remember too that meditation isn’t about not having thoughts, it is about acknowledging them and allowing them to pass.
Slow, deep breaths are the focus of most meditation exercises. Shallow breathing causes you to feel more stressed. Deep breathing causes a relaxation response within your body.
Find your perfect meditation. There are different forms of meditation, so keep experimenting with different meditation styles until you find one that you feel comfortable with.
In our practice we’ve used apps like HeadSpace and Calm, visited Budist Temples, listened to YouTube videos, various yoga classes, to downloads from meditation coaches.
Experiment until you find one or a few that you enjoy and will stick with. I use several based on the amount of time I have that day or if I can get outside which is my personal preference (weather permitting of course!)
The benefits of meditation occur over a period of time, so you’ll want to be comfortable with the techniques you choose to use. Feeling comfortable will ensure that you’ll stick with it long enough to see that the benefits are worth the effort.
Whichever way you choose to learn, the key is to begin today.
The sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll experience the life changing benefits of being able to relax and feel happy in any situation.
To your health and wellness,