Amidst the hustle and bustle of our modern and increasingly hectic life, sometimes all you need is a little silence to calm your soul. You will be pleasantly surprised at what a mere couple of minutes of unwinding and relaxing can do to your physical and mental health, and what better way to achieve that than taking a deep breath and meditate.
Contrary to popular beliefs, meditation is neither an exclusive activity for the swirly tie-dye vibrant T-shirts and dreadlocks hippies from the 1960s, nor is it reserved only for Tibetan monks. The art of meditation has long been practised by people from all walks of life and bring about notable benefits, such as alleviates stress, lowers blood pressure, fine-tune your focus and better manage your emotions, among others.
Never meditated or experienced Zen-like consciousness in your life before? Don’t worry, we got you covered with a few handy beginner tips that will bring out the Zen mastery in you.
Start with the Basics
If you are merely considering to dip your dainty little toes in the waters of meditation much like those you see in the Hollywood movie “Couples Retreat”, then all that is required of you is to find yourself an additional five to ten minutes off your busy schedule to squeeze in a basic and modest self-guided meditation session — if you are not looking to replicate the whole movie and travel all the way to Bora-Bora Island, that is!
Choose for yourself a comfortable and quiet spot for you to sit or lie down in a stable position. It can be at the comfort of your own living room or you can choose to bring your yoga mat outdoors and lie down somewhere undisturbed. The idea is to allow yourself to be calm and stay relaxed without any interruptions or distractions. Once you have found your sweet spot, close your eyes and start focusing on the moment.
Place the emphasis on your breathing, concentrating on every inhale and exhale while listening to your surroundings. Once your senses heighten, gradually shift your attention to the movements in your body — from the tremble in your fingers all the way down to the faintest tickle in your perfectly pedicured toes.
This simple process is ideal for the busy working adults who want to have a serene taste of meditation as it only requires a couple of minutes a day and offers an easy and no-frills technique to get you acquainted with the world of meditation.
Download A Meditation App
Whoever says you can’t mix the old with the new? If you are one that is naturally into a fusion of sorts, mix it up a little by downloading a meditation app from your Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
More often than not, a freehand meditation, which requires you to feel your own way through the entire reflection process, may work for some people. Others, however, require additional help and guidance, especially if you are a novice. And help is just a download away. Meditation apps, such as Headspace and Buddhify (we kid you not), provide you with an assortment of guided meditation tracks — all of which offer step-by-step directions and cut-out guidelines to have you reap the most out of your meditation session and achieve a certain level of Zen-like state of mind.
Most of these apps also accommodate the varying experience level of the masses, from detailed guided sessions with specific sets of instructions to unguided ones that allow you to roam as free as an Arkham knight. Best of all, many of these apps are available for free and can be accessed conveniently anytime and anywhere.
As soon as you have adjusted and adapted to the conventional methods of meditation, you can choose to spice your Zen-ness up by taking it up a notch with another technique called the walking meditation. As the name suggests, this technique involves you walking slowly or pacing yourself comfortably while redirecting your focus all the way down to both your feet. The key emphasis here is not to gaze down and be amazed at your stylish new Fenty Puma Creeper sneakers from Rihanna, but rather, to let your senses go and channel all your feelings to the roll of your foot, the lift of your toes and when the base of your foot firmly hits the ground flat. At any point in time when your mind starts to wander, get your mind to be in sync with your body movements again by quickly redirecting your train of thoughts back down to your feet.
This active meditation technique allows you to kill two birds with one stone — its doubles up as stress reliever as well as a form of exercise, forcing your body to break into a sweat and maybe shed a couple of kilos off your frame in the long run. If you are one who is constantly pressed for time, this method is perfectly tailored for your as you can execute it just about any time when you are on the go, such as during your daily morning walk to work or when you are out walking your dog.
Having said that, it may be a good idea to start off someplace peaceful and quiet, especially when you are in the infancy stages of this meditation technique to avoid unnecessary interruptions and distractions along the way. And while you are at it, try to resist the urge of switching on your favourite playlist which contains the likes of Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow, or you might just end up levelling up your twerk level instead of your Zen level.