here you’re committing to making meditation a part of your life for the next 30 days. Yay you! Meditation may seem daunting, but you can’t do it wrong, our guide will give you many options to try to see what fits for you, you can follow it or not. The “best” one, is the one that “works” for you; many paths, one intention – to notice yourself. Sounds simple enough right?
- Practice at approximately the same time everyday.
Morning is a great time – as there are generally fewer things to get in your way – (fewer BBQs, kids, patio drinks to distract) And those are the hours you have most control over (you can always wake up earlier)
- Create a space; an area you will sit to do your meditation. Clear and clean the space, set it up with intention.
This can be as elaborate or simple as you wish. It can simply be a spot or a pillow on the floor or a chair. You may also wish to create a little space or “altar” where you can place things consistent with what you want to create in your life – (like a 3D manifestation of a dream) photos, sacred items, keepsakes, flowers, crystals, a candle… anything really – don’t overthink it.
- Start small 3-5 minutes. If you’re new to meditation starting with “guided” meditations (listed later) is a great way to start.
There are so many different ways to meditate and types of meditation. In the following “guide” we will introduce several that work for us and we believe are a great starting point. Take what you like, move on if it’s not working for you! Or just do your own thing.
Headspace (an app, free) has a great series of 10 meditations to get you started. (the icon is a white background with orange circle). It’s very basic, perfect for beginners, will walk you through everything step by step. Each is 10 minutes in length.
Lululemon has a series of meditations on the music site soundcloud:
Their “One week Meditation Challenge” is a great place to start. There are 7 on there. Another great series of 7 on that site is called “Awaken Your Potential Chakra Meditations”. The lengths range from approximately 5-10 mintues.
The Chopra Center has a number of guided meditations of various lengths and themes ranging from 5-25 minutes. http://www.chopra.com/ccl/guided-meditations
You may wish to explore them all and see what resonates.
Keep exploring guided mediation. Try one of the meditations written on the handout you received in studio. Try an “unguided” meditation – set a timer, 5-10 minutes is a great goal. Different things you can focus on to keep you present: the flame of a candle. Counting the lengths of your breaths. Remember, you’re not trying to do anything or go anywhere. Just notice.
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Full Moon Group Meditation (Optional… and awesome, after the 730pm class approx 30min)
Traditionally a teacher will select a specific mantra for you based on what he or she feels you need to work on. We don’t live in that guru- disciple relationship here in the west – students are encouraged to notice which mantras they feel drawn to – one may sound pleasing or healing for you. It may be in Sanskrit or English. It may be one word or a sentence. Choose one and try and stick with it – the repetition is important. Words carry within them the seeds of creation and are a powerful force for bringing into existence that which you desire. Mantras help us grow in inner peace, belief and connection to Self, channel positive thinking and manifest it into reality
Here are some simple, widely used Mantras:
OM – is the sound that Eastern lore holds was made at the time of creation
I AM – “I am,” which is powerful in itself, or you can say, “I am strong,” or choose another positive attribute. This way, you concentrate on the characteristics you seek to develop.
SOHAM – is the sound that you make when you breathe, according to Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati. As air comes into and out of your body, it sounds like two syllables “so” and “ham”. This is the easiest mantra for beginners on this list, and a great way to become aware of your breathing and practice focusing on it because Soham requires no chanting, just deep, conscious breathing.
A POSTIVE WORD OR SENTENCE OF YOUR CHOICE – A name, an attribute you would like to have or a positive word.
Some may wish to choose words or sentences from Holy texts.
Your mantra can be said out loud or in your head. If you are in a place where you cannot repeat the mantra out loud, then repeating it in your mind will be just as beneficial. If you repeat the mantra out loud, allow your body to feel the vibrations of your spoken voice. The mantra carries power through your body in this way. If you are repeating the mantra in your head, allow the mantra to consume the entirety of your thoughts. When you repeat it through your mind you may also want to imagine the mantra flowing through the entire body.
Begin your session with:
- observing a minute of silence with closed eyes
- start chanting the mantra gently for 10-15 minutes (if you have a mala, you can use it to keep track and chant it 108 times J
- finish by sitting still for a couple of minutes with no chanting toward the end
Yogis Choice! Choose what feels good or what is working for you! Congratulations on making this a daily practice!