I must admit I am someone who was a little sceptical of meditation to start with but after various attempts at Take 10 and the Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day meditations I started to feel the benefits- if only I could find those 10 minutes every day! It’s something that’s definitely moving up on the priority list now and after a weekend teaching Pilates at The Retreat Collection Yoga And Pilates retreat, where we did lots of different meditations, I was inspired to fully commit to a daily practice again. The main difference I notice is that I am calmer. In general my mood is enhanced, my energy levels improve, I make better choices, I feel more certain, I am more productive and more aware of my surroundings. So why and how am I meditating today and find out a few amazing tips so you can start too…
What is meditation?
There’s not one specific way to meditate, you can meditate all day every day if you really wanted and if you were superhuman but the idea is that you are mindful and focused on one specific thing. Most of the time our minds are jumping from a worry to our schedule, from past to future. Our focus is split between tabs, apps, texts from best friends to important business emails. Meditation isn’t about forgetting all of that and finding enlightenment where you have no stress or worries. It’s about calming your mind for a period of time to allow for space to be created.
We need space to grow, we need space to heal, meditation gives you that space.
Really think about that for a moment…yes I know quite contradicting of me to ask you to think for the purpose of this blog post but do you ever really give yourself space or time? Meditation allows my mind to be free to explore new ideas, memories that I had forgotten or to realise a new passion. Our busy lives don’t give us this space to allow for healing and filtering through the crap in our mind.
Why I meditate
There’s also lots of scientific research into the long term health benefits but I’m all about finding out for myself, remember you are the best research you can do. I will believe those benefits when I see them and I would expect you to do the same before taking my word for it. I don’t know if meditating is going to stop me getting a disease in the future, no one does but all I know and care about right now is how I feel today.
Because a happy healthy day becomes a happy healthy week and a happy healthy week becomes a happy healthy month and if I could have a year, 10 years, 100 years of happy healthy months, I’d feel like I’d lived my life pretty darn well.
How I meditate
I didn’t even realise their was so many different types of mediation. The way I approach meditation today is in a really light hearted fun way. Yoga teacher, Natasha Moutran introduced me to her mantra/fingers to thumb meditation which I have been absolutely loving.
You start by touching your thumb and index finger together on each hand, then your thumb and middle finger, then ring finger then little finger and you repeat the mantra. The mantra is a word followed by “begins with me.” So it could be peace begins with me, truth begins with me, love begins with me, confidence begins with me etc. You can stick with the same one every day or explore new words each day depending on what you need. What I love about this meditation is that you can do it sitting, walking, on the train, before bed, in the morning, waiting for your dinner to cook. The simple finger to thumb gesture and mantra in my head makes me present, focused and I feel in control. This is my time now!
How You Can Start Today
Here’s some simple ideas to get you started, remember meditation isn’t scary, unachievable or hippy! It’s an incredible tool that we all have to allow us to become better versions of ourselves.
1. While waiting for the kettle to boil, be still, close your eyes and count your breathe.
2. While walking up the stairs or to the station, wherever your walking, focus on every step you take, be mindful of how you position your foot, how you step heel to toe, how big your steps are, do this for as long as you can without letting your mind wander and every time it does go back to your steps.
3. Create an affirmation, positive quote or mantra like mine above to repeat over and over in your head, do this on the train, in bed before at night or in the morning or simply sitting quiet and sit before a yoga or Pilates class.
4. Download the app, Insight Timer, for different gongs, music and to see who else in the world is meditating with you- this app is so easy to get you started and it really inspires me to meditate.
5. Choose a task your doing today like eating, swimming, sunbathing, having a bath and decide to be fully there. Notice all your senses and take in every part of the moment. You could even try it with my Best Night’s Sleep Pilates routine.
All the best people meditate 😉
Love, Lottie x