By Faye Martins
What is the best mindfulness meditation for beginners? Some styles are modern, Buddhist, or Yogic, which cover a lot of territory in terms of philosophy, practice, and belief systems. Are you ready to awaken and reconnect your body to your mind by using your breath as a primary tool? Learn how mindfulness, combined with any concept, can help you get the most out of your meditation sessions. Have you been suffering from anxiety, depression, or brain fog? Or, are you a Yoga instructor looking to help your clients move past these ailments with a combination of meditation and mindfulness? Whatever the reason for your research, we’re here to help guide you on your path to awareness through mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
An impactful stress reliever, the mindfulness technique involves refocusing your attention and accepting the resulting feelings and sensations you feel without judgment. You may have heard this concept referred to as being present in the moment. Mindfulness aims to foster awareness of the present and serves as an effective treatment for various psychological and physiological conditions, including anxiety, depression, pain, and stress. If you are experiencing one or more of these problems, here are two ways that you can implement mindfulness to get results.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness interventions through MBSR are thought to steadily and swiftly improve outcomes for chronic pain, depression, and addiction.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
For individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, it is believed that participating in MBCT can cause a significant decrease in daily pain and stress when combined with a mindfulness approach.
Easy Mindfulness: Breath Awareness Meditation
Let’s look at a simple method. This is so easy that it only takes a paragraph to describe. Lay on your back. Inhale and think the word, “Thank.” Exhale and and think the word, You.” Keep the pace and make it natural. Don’t try to control your breathing – Just ride the waves. Who are you thanking? It doesn’t matter. You can thank God, or everyone, that you are still alive and enjoying this practice. It’s so easy, that I call it the best mindfulness meditation for me. Your biggest challenge is to stay awake and if you don’t, who cares? I learned this method from Paul Jerard, when he was teaching at Aura Wellness Center in North Providence about 20 years ago.
Various Mindfulness Methods
By regulating attention, focus, and emotion, mindfulness can influence stress pathways and brain structure activity. Consequently, those who practice mindfulness and meditation methods hold more positive and helpful emotions, particularly during stressful situations. In 2012, Harvard researchers scanned the brains of patients before and after mindfulness sessions. The results? Changes in brain activity from mindfulness are long-lasting. Pretty cool, right?
As you can see, mindfulness is so much more than just a trendy concept that you’ve read about online. However, knowing about mindfulness and its benefits might not mean much, if you don’t know how to implement the technique in your daily life. If it were so effortless to remain present, everyone would be doing it already. It takes practice, discipline, and a willingness to transcend. Here’s how you can incorporate mindfulness in your Yoga, therapy, and meditation sessions as both a practitioner and student.
When the public imagines Yoga, they probably picture someone sitting cross-legged on the floor as they rest their hands on their chest and tummy. With their eyes closed, the person you imagine may hum “om” or breathe in and out peacefully and intentionally. What your mind thinks of as Yoga is, in fact, only one of many forms. The skill we gain from any form of Yoga or meditation is most commonly referred to as awareness.
Yoga utilizes a combination of deep breathing, mindfulness, chakras, mantras, meditation, and a variety of repetitive Yoga poses to activate your energy or shakti. Yoga works with various Chakras to root out underlying issues and bring a higher level of awareness to your inner self. Believed to be wound up like a snake in your spine, your unmanaged stressors can wreak havoc in your life if ignored. Chakras are used to work their way up your spine to release your stress.
The Chakras utilized in Yoga include:
Third eye chakra
Chakras have elements of mindfulness intertwined throughout. With Chakras and mindfulness, you can bring about a deeper level of awareness that most of us are never fortunate or focused enough to experience. Not every type of meditation is a perfect fit for each individual. Whatever method you use, make sure it is one that benefits you and suits your individual preferences, beliefs, and lifestyle. It’s best to consult with a teacher regarding any necessary accommodations or additional concerns you may have before you dive in. The disconnect between our mental and physical selves is thought to cause countless health problems. Fortunately, mindfulness combined with meditation can offer a simpler way to guide you toward a more meaningful life and better health.
There are many more forms, such as Zen and Vipassana, which have been around for centuries. Insight meditation is a modern form of Vipassana. If you’re ready to find genuine fulfillment and truth at the core of who you are, give mindfulness meditation a try today. Once again, I endorse breath awareness as the best mindfulness meditation for beginners.
Choosing the Right Place for Meditation
Everyone has a predominate sense that overrides the other senses in strength. Some of us are highly visual and respond the most to visual stimuli while others are very much in touch with how things feel and are sensitive to textures and materials within a room. Some people rely heavily on their hearing and are mostly auditory thinkers and others are impacted strongly by what they smell. Meditation is about disconnecting from the mind chatter by focusing on less. Often this leads to reduced sensory perception, but ironically one of the best ways to achieve a meditative state is through the physical body and senses themselves.
Many forms of meditation can be done essentially anywhere; on a train or bus, in the office during a lunch break; basically any block of free time can be devoted to quiet rumination, but for most people the bulk of their meditation practice will be done within the home and so it can prove beneficial to create a space that is perfect for meditation in one’s own home. Typically it’s very helpful to remove media devices from the meditation space such as televisions. If there is no other place for the television, covering it while meditating works as well.
Some individuals will want a space that reflects the purpose of the area with visual signals. Serene pictures can be put on the walls if that is helpful for getting into a relaxed state. A cushion is important for performing various sitting postures and a chair can be helpful as well so at the very least those items should be a part of the design of the room. Incense burners are excellent for those who respond well to scents and a stereo can be used to play sounds for auditory individuals; this is especially beneficial for those who live in the city where noise pollution is common.
A meditation space should ideally be located away from the phone and other distractions. For those with children, the meditation space should ideally have a door; not to keep the children out necessarily but more as a visual reminder for the children that you are doing something that should not be interrupted. Another option is to meditate at a Yoga studio or ashram. Yoga is a wonderful companion to meditation at home. Yoga practice really brings out the finer benefits of meditation practice as one learns to live in complete harmony with his or her surroundings.
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