Meditation comes in countless settings and forms. Choosing one style does not mean that you are ruling out the others.
So, for example, guided meditation to fall asleep in the evening, followed by a mindful run in nature the next morning is a great combo. Then again, a guided meditation is awesome just on its own when you are too busy to do more, and the beauty of guided meditations is that you can even keep them turned on throughout the night; your subconscious mind will take it all in, whether you listen to it actively or not.
Often when we think of meditation we imagine having to sit still in a lotus pose, not moving, and not speaking. However, silence is not necessarily required, some people find it easier to clear the thoughts in their minds by chanting.
The same goes with movement. Moving meditation is widespread and is for instance found in exercise styles like Qi Gong or Tai Chi, where you use the energy of active movement to find your inner core. If you are the kind of person that just cannot sit still, then maybe mindful running, pilates, or some of these more active yoga styles (for instance vinyasa and power yoga) may just be the right way for you to reach your meditative state.
If you are more of a feely person that needs breath focus for centering then Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and similar variations could make it a whole lot easier for you to slow down and find balance. Once you get there it helps you relax your muscles, your organs, your breath, and your cardiovascular system – and of course, your thoughts. The stillness, the calm body, and mind is an essential part of meditation. To dare to do nothing and not be effective for a while.
Now and then you might find it beneficial to change between high and low energy activities, so you get a little of both. Remember that the mind is a muscle and it needs to be stimulated in various ways to stay balanced. Just like a physiotherapist will recommend you to change footwear a couple of times daily as the different heel heights help prevent back pains, the same goes for meditating, shifting between higher and lower paces allows your brain to process the constant inputs given to us throughout the day.
With all that said, there is no particular checklist for meditating properly. It all comes down to what works for you and no one way is more correct than the other. Meditating while sitting still is the most commonly known and immediate way of getting to it, and just maybe for you, it could be walking or running. You don’t need any special equipment, nor is a yoga mat or certain clothes required, you can sit on a tree stump in the forest or a chair by your dining table, there are no rules. You just need YOU and whatever allows you to get into the right mental setting.
Meditation is beneficial for everyone
Anyone (you too!) can do it. Whether you are lying down on a bed, sitting in a lotus pose on the floor, or even among people on the bus, meditation is about letting go and taking a mental break from dealing with whatever happens around you. You just breathe and focus inwards. Whether your mind is full or you are falling asleep. Whether you’ve tried meditation before, or if this is your very first time sitting in silence.
Anyone can meditate and anyone can get a night of better sleep, increase their focus and presence, and experience more mental clarity and higher awareness of themselves and others…. And just feel more joy. It is scientifically proven that people who meditate regularly not only have a stronger immune system but are also better at dealing with stress and anxiety because they are more likely to identify it before it gets too out of hand.
How can you incorporate meditation into your everyday life?
To make meditation a part of your routine it must of course fit your everyday life. There are a lot of different directions within meditation and to find the kind that benefits you the most let’s look at the overall definition of meditation:
Meditation is the practice of finding inner calm. How you get to inner calm doesn’t matter as long as it is helping you get in touch with how you feel on the inside at this very moment. So, you have to ask yourself: “What is meditation to me?”
If your meditation is about letting go of too many thoughts that seem to crowd in on you, then what can you do (or are you already doing) that helps you take away that pressure? If you are already doing something, then do more of that, and if you find something more that you can do which seems to fit into other things, take that with you and incorporate that into your already established routines. It is about baby steps and small efforts that slowly get worked into a new regular habit. And remember, only you are the judge of right or wrong in this case. If it feels right to you, it is right. Like Woody Allen said “80% of success is showing up”, so the important thing is not how you do it rather the fact that you are doing it!
It has been proven that if you meditate as little as only 7 minutes daily it can have a great positive impact on your mood, mind, and general outlook on the world, but of course only if done regularly. Training your mind with meditation is like training your body in the gym, you have to go there a few times a week and you have to do the exercises to feel the effect. There’s just no way over or under, there is only through it! But we promise you that what you get in return is more valuable than anything money can buy.