Sitting in Mindful Meditation
Below is a Wellbeing Blog by our Mindfulness, Meditation & Relaxation teacher, Donnah Morgan.
Donnah runs regular Mindfulness, Meditation and Relaxation workshops every Tuesday, 6.30-7.30pm and Friday, 10-11am at The Wishing Well.
Sitting in Mindful Meditation
Often peeps think that meditation is sitting cross legged for hours trying to clear the mind. Well let me disabuse you of that, if you cleared your mind completely you would be dead! Thoughts, (I call them mad monkeys) come bouncing in all the time, the trick is to let them go or block them; so let's get back to how to achieve a bit of Meditation.
When mindfully meditating you can sit on a straight-backed chair, on a sofa, cross-legged on a cushion or in a kneeling pose sitting on your calves with the top side of your feet flat against the floor...whatever position is right for you, there are no hard and fast rules...You choose. Just ensure you keep your back/spine straight to allow your energy to flow.
Sit in your chosen position. Gently sway your body from side to side until your spine feels centered. Lengthen your spine into its natural state by imagining you have a cord attached to the crown of your head and that it is being pulled gently from above.
Next really relax your stomach muscles so that your belly becomes soft and rounded and the small of your back gently curves forward. Scan your body from top to bottom slowly, breathe slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth and release any tension or tightness. Feel the air as it travels down through the nose, throat, down into the lungs and then the belly, feel the belly rise.
Check that your head is level; your shoulders are relaxed and your ears are parallel with your shoulders.
Either close your eyes or focus them on a space about 3 to 4ft in front of you, lowering your eyelids slightly at a 45-degree angle. Relax your hands in your lap or on your knees
A tip to ensure you don't clench your jaw and create tension in your neck is to loosely close your mouth and rest your tongue against the roof of your mouth or let the tip of your tongue rest gently against your upper front teeth.
Stay in this position while focusing on slow belly breathing for a few minutes. It's a good idea to either count your breaths in and out to start with or say in-out to yourself; this keeps the thoughts at bay. Build your practice from a couple of minutes to 15 minutes twice a day. Try to undertake practice in different places, I love to sit outside and just 'be'.
I have been known to stand in my local High Street and meditate whilst waiting for a loved one who was shopping – mind you one of the sales assistants from shop who knew me came out to ask if I was OK...she soon smiled and backed away when I mentioned I was just meditating...they know me well in my town!
When you have finished slowly begin to bring yourself back into the space you are in, open your eyes and become fully aware of your body; stretch carefully and gently before slowly standing and moving on with the rest of your day.
Set yourself a few minutes every day, don't beat yourself up if you forget and let me know how you get on.
Until next time keep breathing.