You may have heard or read about how meditation can improve your physical and mental wellbeing, but never tried it or known where to begin. Well let me tell you, the hype about meditation and it’s benefits are true and now backed by modern science too and here might be a place for you to begin. If you would like to learn a little more please read & watch Parents Mindfulness - Basic introduction to Yoga Nidra and Meditation for parents.Meditation may not change your world overnight, but it may help change the way you perceive it over time. It will enable you to notice your thoughts and your inner voice and perhaps question your mind when it rattles on at you in the background as most minds can about the ‘rush’ of daily life, or ’problems’, or ‘issues’ in your life. This may give you a chance to mentally step back and realise that you do have other choices in how to respond to those thoughts or voice.It will encourage you to notice the qualities of your breath each time you practice and, over time, in your everyday. You might notice how deep the breath is, how tight, how fast or how slow. The breath alone is very powerful in the mind-body relationship. When we are anxious or stressed we tend to take shallower breaths and when we are genuinely relaxed and calm we breathe deeper and smoother. Both of these have physical effects on the body but also the mind.As with all yoga, treat yourself with kindness in learning and implementing this technique. It’s ok if your mind wanders during your mediations. It’s ok if you forget to do it one day and remember three days later. Remember to take it in small stages, start with just 1min if that feels most do-able and build it up in e.g. 30 second stages every few days. These are common issues when trying to bring about changes in our lives - it doesn’t mean we are bad or no good at it when we find it takes a little effort, it just means we are still figuring it all out - this applies to us all. Overcoming common issues: 1)Try to find a fixed time where you do this every day. Having a routine can sometimes help.2)Get yourself seated somewhere comfortable (preferably not lying down before sleep if you are prone to falling asleep as soon as you lie down).
3)Set yourself a timer so you don’t have to keep stopping to check the time. 4)Make sure you give and allow yourself this time. It is only a few minutes to begin with.
5)Once meditation times get longer, consider if waking just a little earlier might be the answer to fitting it in, or if you can sit and find that time before you start a different task in the office, or outside over lunch, it may take time for you to work out what works best for you and that is ok. We don’t always have to have the right answers to our questions first time. Whilst using this resource to inspire learning, know you are helping you and your family's wellbeing in the following ways:
2) Keep Learning - use this session to learn (or relearn) a meditation technique that is simple to access by using basic counting and shapes.
3) Be Mindful- notice during your practice about which thoughts come floating through your head and how you feel about them, how are you currently reacting to them? Could you choose to react differently? Or focus more deeply on the breath, how is it feeling in you today? How does it compare to other times?
4) Practice Kindness- remember to be kind with yourself, give yourself some space and time to try and learn this new technique. Start off small and gentle and remember it's not a ladder of progress with numbers, those are just a guide for your breathing to 'notice' with.