Methods in Meditation

Starting a Practice Part II by Indi Maxon

Article
Yoga

Jan 20, 2020

We continue to explore this important topic of meditation and how to make it part of your daily routine. A sense of willingness and curiosity will transform you over time


Explore your most comfortable asana (seat)

This is especially important when first establishing a meditation practice. You may find that sitting still for extended periods of time can be quite challenging at first. There are pillows made especially for meditation as well as the use of bolsters, blankets or pillows you already have at home. If you have any physical limitation or chronic pain, remember that sitting in a chair is always an option! Feel free to do research on this and experiment until you find a shape that your body will feel most supported in. 

Set an MDR (minimum daily requirement)

One of my favorite and best teachers introduced this concept to me. Setting a minimum amount of time you will sit for your practice each day allows for the moments when life circumstances step between you and your expectations of what an ideal practice looks like. Especially in the beginning stages of establishing a practice, start small and grow from there. Sitting for even 5-10 minutes in the beginning will gradually move you towards a deeper and longer practice. It is the most realistic amount of time you will regularly have, which is the greatest tool in supporting the next point.

Be CONSISTENT

Support yourself in being consistent by also being realistic with your MDR. It is far more beneficial to sit every day consistently for 15 minutes than to sit one day for 45 minutes, skip a few days, sit another day for 30 minutes and then skip a few more days. 

Be kind to yourself

Your practice will be best met with an attitude of love, compassion and forgiveness. We are human beings and there will be times when we miss a day or so or fall off the wagon completely. Rather than berate or judge yourself for this, which will only push you further from your practice, surround yourself with love and compassion and hop back on when you’re ready.

Create a special ritual 

One of my dearest friends inspired this very deeply within me when she described her morning practice as the time she’s able to spend with her deceased mother each day. She gets up early before her husband and children are awake, makes a mug of the tea she and her mother always shared together, reflects quietly and then sits for her meditation. A few minutes of reading from a spiritual book, journaling or gentle stretching before sitting are all ideas for creating a special ritual leading up to meditation. This is also part of the consistency that will support you in sitting for your practice.

Create a special place in your home

If you have the space and freedom to set up a small space in your home that is just for your practice, enjoy and get creative! Using candles, special stones, cloths, feathers, pictures and anything else significant to you are all wonderful in creating an altar or sacred space. If space is limited, have a few items (perhaps a candle and your book of choice) that you can easily bring to where you will be sitting each day. Most important is that it be a space you love to be in.


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