Basic Tools And Techniques To Start A Meditation Practice (Video)
Today, I want to talk a little bit more about meditation which is a very important part of my life, and something I also talk about in The Beauty Detox Power. There’s a section in here about practical rituals for the morning and the evening, and I also talk about starting a whole meditation practice as well.
The first thing I want to say is that as I come across different people and talk to all different types of people, I’m seeing a growing interest in meditation- which I think is amazing.
This growing awareness is parallel to the rise and growing consciousness about where our food is being sourced, and just this general increase in the desire to feel more peace and to feel more natural joyfulness in our life, which I think is amazing. Your meditation practice can definitely help to support this growing peace and joy in your life.
The most amazing thing is that you don’t need anything from the outside. It all can come right from within you, right from the source right inside you. You need nothing else.
What you do need, which can be very helpful is just some basic tools and techniques to get started with a meditation practice. We have a couple of other videos that I shot about different aspects of meditation, and of course, I talk about it more in the book. Just talking to you as a friend, I just wanted to in a spontaneous way talk about some things that I found very helpful for me.
I think we’ve all heard this idea that your spine needs to be straight when you meditate because the energy is coming down the vertebrae, also known as your ‘Sushumna nadi’, your central energy channel, but it’s also really important that your body is relaxed.
If you’re trying to keep your spine really straight, but at the expense of tensing your shoulders or your back, it’s very difficult to meditate efficiently. What I find in my own practice is that it’s good to sit on a pillow or something to elevate your hips a little bit. That way, you can keep the spine quite lifted, but also keep your body relaxed, and that’s really, really important for your meditation posture.
Another thing that I found very helpful for myself for longer meditations, as you learn to sit longer and longer, is that it is good to have a little meditation chair and put your feet flat on the ground. It can help … especially for us, Westerners that haven’t grown up in lotus position since we were born. It’s nice to feel grounded. It’s nice to help keep your feet from falling asleep, and it’s also just for general good meditation posture during your whole meditation.
If you’re just starting, the beginning of meditation can just be to listen to your breath. It can start as being as simple as that, in and out through your nose. If you find that you … What will naturally happen is that you’ll find that your breath will start to slow down. Then, at this point, I found that it’s helpful as I’m walking … some of my clients do this and people that I work with personally, is just to put your hands on your belly for a minute, and to make sure as your breath is slowing down, that your breath is coming all the way into your belly.
Your belly is actually starting to expand like a balloon, so the breath isn’t shallow. It’s not just up in your chest. It’s starting to come all the way down into your body. That can be the beginning of simple mindfulness and awareness.
You can close your eyes in the beginning. You can even keep them open. Just this beginning of awareness, it can be the beginning of awareness in your entire life
I found personally that starting to just sit, beware of your breath can create intuition.
For many of us, I meet so many people and so many readers that say to me:
“I don’t really know when I’m hungry”
“I don’t really know what my body needs”
“I’m confused about what to eat”
“I’m confused about what to do, what direction to go in life”
and there’s so much information being thrown at all of us. Just this mindfulness tuning back in, instead of sensory perception … everything being out here, just bringing all that awareness, everything back in, again, it can start so simple.
This is going to help create more mindfulness for you and more intuition about how to take care of yourself, and how to be less reactive to food cravings…
and your co-worker having a pile of cookies on their desk, and then you start obsessing about the cookies, or when for many of us, we’re by the middle of the afternoon, we’re already thinking about what we’re going to eat for dinner and obsessing, or just this over thinking about food in general. If we can just start to be more aligned, then we can know without over-obsessing about what to eat and how to take care of ourselves, and how we feel in general about different things and different decisions that come at us.
Here’s a quick summary:
Sit in a relaxed way, with no tightness.
Just elevate the hips a bit, lift the spine, but make sure the shoulders stay nice and relaxed. I personally like to have my palms up because I feel it creates an energy of receptivity.
If you feel that there’s a lot going on and maybe you need to feel more grounded, you can also put palms down. Either way, the spine is lifted.
Just start listening to your breath.
Close your eyes. (If you are in a noisy place, some of us live in busy cities, you may want to put on some soft music or some white noise. This is something I’ve been doing for years. I have an air filter in the rooms where I meditate, and I put on some white noise so I don’t hear the sirens going by or the neighborhood kids necessarily. It’s going to help for us beginning.)
Of course, very advanced yogis can meditate anywhere, and eventually, we can get to that state. In the beginning, it’s nice to block out outside noise just to help us stay focused on the breath, and eventually, we go deeper and deeper into our practice.
I hope you enjoyed this very informal conversation that we’ve had today on meditation. I’m going to be talking about meditation more and more because I just think it’s amazing and so beneficial for all of us to develop. I love to hear what you think about our discussion in the comments below, and otherwise, I’ll see you back here very soon.