For many of us adding a meditation practice to our schedule, just seems like adding one more thing to an already long to do list! A common thing Corporate Yoga Melbourne hear from students is that they are time poor (and stressed!).
According to Yoga Journal - a vast and growing body of research shows that meditating can reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and depression, increase your attention span, and deepen your compassion for others, among its many other benefits. Regular meditation can change the physical structure of the brain, and studies by scientists at the University of Wisconsin and UCLA suggest not only that meditation might make your brain better at cognitive functions such as processing information and forming memories, but also that the more years you regularly meditate, the greater the benefits.
Here are some suggestions Corporate Yoga Melbourne found to help you get a meditation practice into your schedule:
Step 1: Choose a style of Meditation.
There are various styles out there, but whichever you choose is not so important - it is about finding one that helps to quieten your mind.
Step 2: Form a habit
Just like you schedule in your diary a doctors appointment, schedule in your daily meditation. (Time poor? Set your alarm for 5:30am and meditate at this peaceful time of the day).
Step 3: Be Patient
Not every technique resonates with every person, and down days are part of establishing a practice. Even if some of the sessions don’t feel successful, it is still time well spent. Pushing through uninspired sessions helps you build meditation muscle. You’re training your body and mind to turn inward repeatedly—to persevere through one bad day or a series of tough days in order to better savor the great sessions.
Step 4: Find joy
A final key to establishing a meditation practice is finding joy in it. Notice the subtle changes.
Step 5: Sit up straight
A rule in meditation is that your back must be upright—straight but not rigid—to allow the breath and energy to flow freely up the spine. You can choose a chair, a couch or on the floor crossed legged (hips must be above the knees). You want to be seated in a pose that you can hold comfortably for at least 20 minutes.
Once you’re seated comfortably, place your hands on your knees, palms up with the thumb and forefinger touching. This completes an energetic circuit that allows the energy to expand and rise in the body.
Step 6: Focus on your breath
Here is a exercise to get you focusing on your breath:
Inhale, letting the hips, thighs, and sitting bones become heavy as they sink into the floor. Exhale, feeling that the breath gently lifts the spinal column up through the crown of the head. Inhale, letting the chest lift and open. Exhale, allowing the shoulder blades to release down the back.
Inhale, and imagine that the sides of your ears move back just enough so that your head and neck feel aligned with your shoulders. Your chin should tilt slightly downward. Let your tongue rest on the floor of your mouth. Close your eyes.
Notice as your awareness comes gently to the flow of the breath. As the breath flows in and out, notice the sensations in your body. Let the inhalation bring your attention to any places in the body that feel tense or tight, and then, with the exhalation, release any holding there. Let the breath bring your attention to your shoulders, and with the exhalation, feel them releasing. Let the breath bring your attention to your chest and belly, and with the exhalation, release any holding in those areas. Inhale with the sense of allowing the breath to touch any places in your body that still feel tight, and exhale with the sense that your whole body softens and releases.
Allow the breath to flow at a natural rhythm. Notice how the breath flows into the nostrils with a feeling of coolness. It flows in and down the throat, perhaps coming to rest in the chest, and then flows out slightly warm as it passes up through the throat and out the nostrils.
Notice the gentle touch of your breath as your attention gradually becomes more and more settled in the flow of the breath. If thoughts arise, note them with the awareness “Thinking,” and bring your attention back to the breath.
As the breath flows in and out, you might sense that the breath is flowing in with particles of very subtle and peaceful light and energy. They flow in with the breath, down into your body, and out with the exhalation. You may visualize these light particles as white or blue or pink. Or you may simply sense them as waves and particles of energy.
Sense the enlivening caress of the breath, perhaps being aware of the breath filling your body with light particles, perhaps feeling the touch of the breath as it flows in through your nostrils, moves down through your throat and into your heart center, and then gently flows out.
To come out of the meditation, take a deep breath in and gently let it out. Notice how your body feels, how your mind feels, the quality of your energy. When you are ready, take up your journal and write what you remember about this meditation.
Corporate Yoga Melbourne can offer meditation classes at your work.