Meditation 101

medIn yoga, I often refer to a chaotic mind as a “dirty cup of water.” I know – it’s not the prettiest thing to imagine, but neither is a mind that is going a million miles per hour! Now, I use the “dirty cup of water” analogy because when it is shaken, the water is cloudy and full of debris, but when the water is still, the dirt settles to the bottom of the cup and the water becomes clear again. The practice of meditation is like letting your cup of water (your mind) become clear and still again.

As a yoga instructor, I will be the first to admit that meditation is not easy – if it was, then everyone would do it. Even after years of practice, it can still be a struggle to reach that state of calm and serenity. The fact is, most of us lead pretty hectic lifestyles when it comes to work, family, engagements, etc. and we can’t help but be in determination mode 24/7. Even taking five minutes a day to just close our eyes and breathe seems like an impossible task.

Well, I’m here to help make meditation more readily available to you. You can practice the following meditation technique in silence or with calming music playing in the background. It’s up to you. :)

Here are some steps you can take to help transform your mind and your meditation practice.

Step 1:

Sit or lie down in a comfortable and quite space, allowing your palms to face the sky.

Step 2:

Stay present and become totally present of your surroundings. What do you hear? Do you feel any tension? What are thoughts? Now let ALL of that go. EVERY SINGLE THING.

Step 3:

Focus on your breath by inhaling and exhaling out your nose. Take long, deep breath to help your mind stay focused. I like to useSama Vritti (equal breathing) here. This type of pranayama requires you to inhale and exhale for an equal length. Inhale through your knows for five counts, hold your breath at the top, and then exhale for five counts. Repeat this breathing technique throughout your meditation practice.

Step 4:

While you’re meditating, do a body scan by taking note of each part of the body. I like to start with my toes and then work my way up the body until I reach the crown of my head.

Step 5:

Towards the end of your meditation, take five to 10 deep inhales and “Om” as your exhale. I promise, nobody will make fun of you.

Remember, practice makes perfect. If it feels difficult the first few times – stick with it. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much easier it gets to meditate if you keep a regular practice.

Om shanti and Namaste!

XO