Meditation has been practiced by a variety of religious traditions over the years including Buddhism, Hinduism and even Christianity. There are hundreds of different styles of meditation and techniques you can practice, but let's start with beginning breaths and grow from there. Practicing this simple five-minute meditation is a great way to help clear the mind and body and strengthen your ability to stay present and anxiety-free.
Reminder: Meditation is not just a solidarity practice. You can share this practice with your life partner, kids and friends. Take a moment to reconnect with yourself and others.
Sit or lay on the floor. Rest the palms of your hands on your thighs and relax your arms. Look straight ahead but try not to focus anywhere in particular. Take a deep breath and start feeling your heartbeat.
After a few breaths, move your attention to your calves. Feel and sense these for several breaths. Then move your attention from body part to body part, to your thighs, then your bottom against the floor, then to your abdomen and lower back, your chest and upper back, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your neck, face and lastly your head. Then let your awareness cover your whole body at the same time.
The idea is to “scan” your body with your breathing, stopping for a few breaths on each part. This practice will strengthen your ability to direct and hold your attention.
Practicing being present will help clear out negativity from your mind. You will begin to be able to use your energy and attention to stay present and be more productive. These steps for beginner meditation will help you navigate through the sea of meditation information available and give you a view of what meditation actually is, the best ways for beginners to develop a practice, as well as simple practice for freeing your mind from all the distractions of the outside world.
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Sarah Pilcher is the yoga instructor, lifestyle coach and multiple sclerosis survivor behind 365YogaDream. She offers free guided meditation for beginners via Zoom every Wednesday. Follow Sarah on Facebook and Instagram.