The benefits of meditation are endless in improving quality of life, mindset, confidence and perspective. However, meditating at home by yourself can be intimidating and you may be unsure where to start. Here is my fool proof method of creating an at home meditation practice that will not only benefit your body and mind, but also create a sense of calm and relaxation in your environment.
Begin by prepping your space: turn off any distractions by setting your phone to airplane mode, turning off your tv and computer and closing the windows to avoid noise distractions. You will never be 100% noise free (even in a meditation studio) but the great thing about practicing this way is learning to guide your attention inward. Make the temperature of your space comfortable, dim the lights or close the drapes, burn a candle, palo santo, sage or incense. Sit down on the floor on a comfortable cushion or lie down (if you aren't tired and prone to falling asleep). Wrap yourself in a blanket and rest your hands in a comfortable position on your lap or beside you. Turn on some relaxing music (use spotify or youtube to find meditation music and cue it for as long as you plan to meditate so you're not worried about the time).
Once you are ready to begin your meditation, begin by settling into your space with three breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling out the mouth. Let go of your day and your thoughts. During meditation you can close your eyes or lower them, there is no right way to meditate.
I use mantras all the time to let go of my thoughts. The purpose of meditating isn't to clear your mind completely, it's to train your brain to stir your thoughts to where you want them to go. Here are some simple mantras I use to help me regulate my meditation:
So ham (a sanskrit translation of I am)
Inhale so, exhale ham. These words should mean nothing to you and that's why they are easy to practice, as they shouldn't make you think about your to-do list. They also sound like "so calm" which is a great direction to take yourself during your meditation.
I love you
I am sorry
Please forgive me
I learned this mantra from Mia Togo at Yogaworks and I love it so much. It's the perfect mantra to practice when you are feeling down and need a confidence boost. We must thank our bodies every day for all that they do for us and you should be proud of yourself for taking care of your health by establishing a mindfulness practice!
May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live your life with ease
I learned this meditation from Unplug guide Lauren Eckstrom. This mantra is a simple and efficient way to remind ourselves of what is important in life and repeating this mantra over and over again should attract these qualities into your life; after all, our thoughts turn to things and what better way to attract positivity than with positive affirmations.
I also have a long list of words I use to meditate, that rotates based on what I need that day. You can use one or all of these words during your practice and repeat them over again in your mind to help you direct your thoughts and attract positivity in your life. My favorite words to use are: love, compassion, gratitude, peace, calm, appreciation, content, happy, fun, healthy.
Another technique using the same words would be to inhale the positive and exhale the negative. For example, on your inhale you think love, on the exhale hate. Inhale peace, exhale stress, inhale calm, exhale anxiety, and so on.
I hope these mantras help you and remember there is no right way to breathe, or sit or do anything a certain way during meditation. The most important thing is to establish a mindfulness practice to be part of your routine, to settle your thoughts and relax a bit. This will improve your productivity, relationships and the way you feel about yourself. I promise!