Mindfulness

How to Start a Meditation Practice

By Tvisha Patel, Pretzel Kids content writer

Do you feel burnout from a hectic lifestyle? Do you get tired easily? Do you ever experience fatigue and midday crashes? 

Well, we have news for you! There are ways to deal with such situations by taking care of your mental health. 

But first: You need to implement routines that support your physical and mental health. These can include activities like journaling, practicing yoga, exercising, walking in nature, and even meditating! 

You may wonder about how to start a meditation practice. You’re in luck because, in this blog, we will help you understand what meditation is and how to start a routine. It’s time to meditate and take care of yourself! Read on to learn how to start a meditation practice.

Understanding Different Types of Meditation 

Meditation practice can look different for everyone. 

There are various types of meditation techniques from various traditions and cultures. It’s all about finding the type of meditation that suits you and what makes you feel the best. 

One type of meditation is to use focused attention. It is the most straightforward and involves using your breath to focus. This helps you to be more present. 

Another type of meditation is mantra meditation. It involves repeating a specific set of syllables, phrases or even words out loud or in your mind. Mantras are a part of many religions such as Hinduism (i.e: Gayatri mantra) and Buddhism. However, mantra usage isn’t restricted to only religion. Mantras can help relax the mind and produce a relaxation response

Chakra meditation is another mindfulness form that has great benefits. Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’. This refers to the energy centers in your body and each wheel corresponds to certain nerve bundles. There are seven chakras, each located in different parts of your body. This kind of meditation focuses on bringing balance to the chakras. One of the ways this is done is by visually imagining each chakra and corresponding it to a color. 

Outlined above are just a few techniques, yet there are several more you can learn about! This includes guided meditation, yoga, mindfulness and even meditation techniques to help you let go of the past. 

How to Start a Meditation practice

With so many meditation techniques, you may be wondering: where do I start? 

While everyone’s routine can look different, we have outlined 4 basic ways to help you get started. 

1. Make note of what you want to let go of during the day

During our busy lives, we may wake up with a lot of tasks in our minds. You may have something or the other going on in your life. Meditation is meant to bring peace into your life. Therefore, the first step would be to take note of what you want to let go of during the day. Whether you take note of it in your mind or write it in a journal, this step will help you have a clear mind. 

2. Find a comfortable spot and ground yourself

how to start a meditation practice

Find a spot that makes you feel grounded, and safe. You can even customize a corner in your home to make it your meditation spot. You want to sit in this area and breathe, start to be aware of your mind,  and bring ease to your body. It’s a good idea to start with some relaxing breathing exercises as this will help you to de-stress. 

3. More about breathing exercises 

Sometimes, when you’re on the go every day, you may not realize that you are taking shallow breaths. So, try to engage in belly breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing.  

In order to start, you can sit or lie down and place your left hand on your heart, followed by the right hand on your belly. As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly fall. This will help you take deeper breaths. You can also engage in timed breathing for stress relief. To do this, inhale and slowly count how long it takes to breathe in. Then, exhale and similarly count your breath out. Attempt to make your exhale at least 2 counts longer than the in-breath. This technique can help you prepare to meditate.

Implement pranayama

The regulation of breath is known as pranayama. Prana is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘life force,’ and ayama means stretching. There are different pranayama techniques you can try, and one of them is Anuloma Viloma. You start by sitting or lying down and emptying  all the air from your lungs. Using your thumb, block your right nostril and inhale through the left. Inhale into your belly, and once you have attained a full breath, take your ring finger of the same hand and seal the left nostril. Release the thumb on the right nostril and breathe out. Do the same on the left side of your nose. This helps soothe your mind and body and can be practiced anytime during the day, especially if you feel anxious.

4. Try guided meditation

Guided meditation is when someone leads you through a meditation, whether via audio or in person. An expert will guide you through the journey and explain the basics as well. This can help you become more proficient and can give you more clarity during your meditation practice. Guided meditation can also help you realize how your mind and thoughts work, and how to bring ease to your body while becoming consistent with your meditation practice.

Benefits of Meditation 

In our everyday life, we often walk around with a lot of noise in our minds due to constant stress. Yet, meditation can help you quiet the noise and mental chatter. Meditation can also improve your yoga practice

In fact, studies have shown that meditation helps you stay more balanced during yoga. It makes sense because if you’re mind is wandering during yoga practice, meditation can helps you calm your mind, allowing you to be more at ease. This, in turn, helps you focus while holding postures.

And, as you’ve learned here, meditation helps you practice deep breathing, which can reduce stress and anxiety. As an added plus, you can even teach kids to meditate! 

Now, it’s up to you. Are you ready to start meditating and get your whole family involved, even the kids? Let’s go! 

About Tvisha

Tvisha Patel is a blog writer at Pretzel Kids. She loves doing yoga in her downtime and is currently a business student at Schulich School of Business – York University, in Ontario, Canada. Tvisha also enjoys exploring nature, music and photography!

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