Pretty please do not wait to feel "on top" of everything before you take time for meditation. In my experience also as evidenced in research, taking time for meditation BEFORE diving into a monster to-do list makes a HUGE difference to clarity, calm and purposefulness. So find a few minutes, ANY few minutes will do! Set a timer for 3, 4, 5 minutes, whatever you think you have time for and follow these steps....
ORGANISE YOUR BODY WITH SIMPLE ALIGNMENT & CHECK IN
Long spine, seated, standing or laying down, comfortable, steady & grounded. Perhaps roll the shoulders to release a bit of tension. Close or steady the eyes. Take a moment to notice how you feel physically and emotionally without judging, just notice.
2. DEEP BREATHS
Take 3 deep round of breath. One round is inhalation + exhalation.
3. JUST WATCH THE BREATH
Place your full awareness on observing your breath. Watch how it moves your body, the speed of the breath, temperature of the breath, the texture of it. Is it smooth or jagged. Doesn’t matter…you aren’t perfecting it, you are just watching it, deeply curious about the present moment of experience of your breath. If your mind is super busy, you can count your breaths.
4. DEALING WITH DISTRACTION
Your mind will wander. It will veer off into the future or the past. This does NOT mean you stink at meditating! When you notice the wandering – do NOT judge yourself, do NOT analyse your thoughts, do NOT add thoughts to thoughts…instead, notice where the mind has gone, accept that it has wandered (don’t chastise yourself) and kindly escort your attention back to your breath.
You may have to do this many, many times...that is totally normal and meditation benefits come regardless of how many distractions arise.
5. CLOSE THE PRACTICE
To close the practice, expand the awareness beyond just the breath, and check in again with body and mind. Take a deep breath and perhaps inhale the arms above the head and exhale them down. Thank yourself for your efforts and open your eyes. Then get on with your day and whatever is important to you. Aim for micro practices of a few minutes each day, those meditative minutes and their benefits are there waiting for you.
Try a free guided practice of 6 minutes HERE.
- Meredith Gunderson, Seeker, Teacher, Writer on Yoga, Meditation and Inner Peace. www.meredithyoga.com