Posted: Jan 27, 2013 5:00 PM
You’ve tried all the latest yoga classes, maybe even a Pilates or Dailey Method session. Meditation isn’t about burning calories or firming your backside, but it can add focus and relaxation to your life. Think you might be interested in giving it a try? Keep reading for how to incorporate simple meditation practices into your crazy days.

What is meditation?

The ancient practice of meditation has been around for centuries for spiritual reasons, as well as a relaxation technique. Meditation refers to a group of techniques which may be practiced for various reasons, including help with calmness and relaxation, improving mood and psychological health, and to help cope with illness or to enhance overall well-being. You can practice meditation anywhere at any time, once you have mastered the basic techniques. Most types of meditation are based on four common elements:

  • Focus: People practicing meditation may focus on a specific mantra (a chosen word or set of words), an objector simply on their breathing. Focusing is usually a very important part of meditation.
  • Quiet: Meditation is usually practiced in a quiet place with as few distractions as possible, especially when you are just starting to learn how to meditate. As you gain experience, you will most likely be able to meditate in many different situations.
  • Comfort: Many different types of meditation can be done while sitting or standing up. You need to find the position that best suits you for relaxation and meditation.
  • Relaxed vibe: You need to learn to let distractions come and go naturally while meditating, to achieve your ultimate relaxed state.

Why meditate?

Meditation is thought to be a way of transforming the mind, and encouraging deep thought and relaxation. With regular practice, meditation can help you deal more effectively with the stressors of your day and focus your attention on things that are really important. With consistent work and patient attention, your meditation practice can help you focus your attention where it should be and relax when you need to.

When should I meditate?

To get the biggest benefit of meditation, you should aim to practice it every day, possibly at the same time of day. Anyone can practice meditation -- it is simple and doesn't require any special equipment or workout gear. You can practice meditation in many different settings or locations: when you are out for a walk, waiting for an appointment or even during a business meeting. Many people who meditate start their day at the same time each morning with a specific meditation routine.

Many people assume that to practice meditation you need to have special training or participate in a special class. Most of the benefits of meditation can be easily obtained by simply finding a few moments to be quiet and focused on your inner self. Even in the checkout line at the grocery store you can check in with your breathing, focus on your chosen words in your head and find a few moments of calm amidst the celery stalks and coupons.

What do you have to lose? Give meditation a try, and see what it can do for you.

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