Over the past few days, you may have noticed an influx of self-guided yoga, meditation, energy healing or breathwork online classes from some of your favourite fitness experts, celebrities or influencers. Now more than ever, we’re taking our health and well-being into our own hands, with a little more time on our side to practise and experiment.
So what should you keep in mind as you navigate into meditation? Our nutritional therapist and resident yogi Susan Alexander, shares a few tips:
Why meditation or breathwork is useful during isolation
- Helps us to be calmer and less triggered, so we are able to take a rationale view of the current situation and see the opportunities.
- By starting to embrace the stillness between breaths, we learn to give ourselves the space and time to see before we react, teaching us to be more patient and accepting.
- We also start to become more present, so more mindful of our thoughts, seeing that we are separate from them, giving us much more peace and less stress and anxiety.
- Causes deep relaxation and slows the heart rate, again helping us to cope better with adversities.
- Also known to improve memory and concentration, as well as improve mood and positivity.
Can anyone do it? Can children do it?
- Yes, anyone can do it. It is preferable to sit in lotus position/ cross-legged with spine erect so we stay in an alert frame of mind, but if we have injuries or any physical condition, we can sit in a chair or lie down also.
- It also is known to be very beneficial to children in being able to process their thoughts and emotions, and deal with them better. So much so that detention has been replaced by meditation in some schools.
Nice things to remember while initiating into meditation
- Remember that it takes a while to get into meditation, so be patient, and consistency is key. Try to form a regular practice where time and place are as consistent as possible.
- Start with short meditations and see how you go. It is better to do shorter, more consistent practices than longer but more irregular sessions.
- Remember that meditation is not to control or stop your thoughts. It is to prevent your thoughts controlling you, and to be mindful that you are separate from your thoughts.
- If you feel any pain whilst meditating, stretch the legs and lie down if this does not help. The ideal is to sit, but at first it is more important that there is no pain. Moving your body with yoga will help you to be able to sit for meditation.
- Find a quite comfortable place where you will not be disturbed and make it your haven, your safe space to go to. Light candles and display your favourites crystals etc.
- Start with a prayer and try to become as present as possible.
- Do some deep abdominal breathing to bring oxygen to the brain and keep alert but focused.
- Ideally practice on an empty stomach and dress comfortably.
Above, Susan shows us a sivasana sequence, best for after your yoga practise or right before going to sleep.
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