Learn to Breath More Deeply, Relax and Heal Your Body
Stress is believed to be a major component of many medical problems, including sleep difficulties, tight muscles, nervousness, headaches, and weight gain. One way of learning to deal better with the stress in your life is to practice meditation. Meditating works best when it is practiced on a regular basis. There are many guided meditation cds and meditation tapes available on the market that allow you to listen to calming music and the soft voice of a meditation guide. Some people begin their meditation by lighting a candle.
Below are some facts that may help you get the most from the time you spend meditating.
If you do not think you will fall asleep, you can lay down for your meditation. However, many people become so relaxed that they fall asleep despite their best intentions. Instead, you may want to stay in a sitting position. You may sit on the floor or a pillow, if that that is comfortable for you, or you may sit in a chair. If you are sitting in a chair, do not cross your legs or arms. Let your hands rest softly in your lap. Have your feet flat on the floor. This will keep your body open and relaxed.
As you begin your guided meditation, inhale deeply through the nose, but not in a way that is too forced. Slowly release the breath, and continue taking long, slow breaths through your nose during the meditation. Some people find it helpful to begin by slowly counting as they breath … inhale 1 2 3 4, hold 1 2 3 4, exhale 1 2 3 4, hold 1 2 3 4, repeat.
Peaceful meditation music, or a white noise machine with the sounds of rain, the ocean or the forest can create a soothing atmosphere for your meditation. Meditation cds or tapes are often the only meditation supplies that you will need.
You can use this direct link to meditation tapes from Amazon in order to find a good selection at reasonable prices. They really do help put you in the right mood and help you clear your mind.
A flowing stream, a walk in the woods, a stroll along the beach can all be visualized during your meditation. Choose the visual cues that you are likely to find most soothing. If a stroll in the woods is frightening for you in real life, it is not likely to be a soothing image if you are trying to visualize it while you meditate. Think of a place where you feel calm, safe and at peace. If you are using a meditation cd, let the voice of the meditation leader be your guide. If you are practicing on your own, visualize any scene that gives you a sense of well-being, a place where you feel comfortable.
Listen to a meditation tape. As the speaker takes you deeper into meditation, they may tell you to envision a rose bud. Gradually the rose opens up, releasing its fragrance. Or, they may suggest that you walk along the banks of a river, deeper and deeper into a forest. The images are limitless. Whatever they suggest, try to stay in the present and concentrate on what the meditation guide is saying.
Many people have had good results when they recite a mantra when they meditate. You can write the mantra yourself, but keep it simple and positive. Here are a few positive affirmations that you may want to include in your personal mantra:
May I have good health
May I be relaxed and free of stress
May I be happy
May you have good health
May you be relaxed and free of stress
May you be happy
May the universe have good health
May the universe be relaxed and free of stress
May the universe be happy
Coming out of meditation
When you are finished meditating, do not immediately jump up. Instead, slowly begin to move your hands and feet. Gradually, move other parts of your body. Open your eyes and take a few minutes to let them focus. Take a deep breath. When you feel ready, stand up slowly and move around gently, until you feel that you have regained your full attention. You may want to wait a few minutes before driving a car, because you could feel groggy for a while.
Meditation Courses and Retreats
Many community centers, hospitals and yoga schools offer meditation courses or sponsor meditation retreats. You may want to take advantage of these events when you can. They are a great way to learn more about meditation, and to help maintain your meditation commitment.
You may also be interested in reading the following articles:
(This last article also contains information about becoming a yoga or Pilates teacher.)
photo courtesy of photoxpress.com
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