10 Meditation Tips for Beginners
1. Find Your Space
Set up a meditation space. Somewhere calm, quiet, and not too cluttered.
Setting up a comfortable atmosphere will help to create the right mood for meditation and you can return to the same space to practice.
2. Find Time
Choose a time when your mind is calm.
As soon as you wake up in the morning, before looking at your phone, computer, or talking to anyone would be ideal.
3. Establish a Routine
Using the same time and place each day will create a space and routine. Then you will be able to relax into the practice more quickly.
4. Be Comfortable
Sit comfortably, with your spine tall and your chin tucked down slightly. Make sure you are warm and supported by a wall or blanket if you need to.
5. Remember to Breathe
Breathe deeply. Regulating your breath will help your mind and body to relax.
You could start with five minutes deep breathing and then slow it down.
6. Don’t Be Attached
Your mind will wander, thoughts will be jumping in. Allow them to pass by. Do not attach yourself to the thoughts. Acknowledge them and allow them to pass by.
If you get anxious that you are thinking too much, then you will become restless and find it harder to relax.
Setting your attention on a point may help you focus.
You can use an image or bring your attention to one of your chakras or even one of your body parts, like your heart. Keep the eyes closed and focus on your intention, resting the mind here.
Detach yourself from your thoughts. You can keep the concentration on one point while watching your mind.
See what comes up.
Meditation comes when you reach a state of pure thought. You are aware of the mind and thus can witness the self.
10. Build Your Practice
You can begin to practice for ten minutes a day, building up your practice as you get used to it and find more stillness. Taking ten minutes to meditate in the morning will give you time, awareness, and concentration throughout the day.
We possess a source of wisdom, peace, and happiness deep inside us. With a little practice we can begin to access it and all the worries that we had begin to drift away. We are getting to know our true selves, and that is a beautiful thing!
Do you have any meditation tips for beginners? Share them with the community in the comments below!
7 Science Backed Benefits of Pranayama
What exactly is pranayama?
Pranayama is the ancient practice of controlling your breath. You control the timing, duration, and frequency of every breath and hold.
The goal of pranayama is to connect your body and mind. It also supplies your body with oxygen while removing toxins. This is meant to provide healing benefits.
1. Decreases stress
In a 2014 study , pranayama reduced perceived stress levels in healthy young adults. The researchers speculated that pranayama calms the nervous system, which improves your stress response.
Another 2014 study found similar benefits. Individuals who practiced pranayama experienced less anxiety before taking a test.
The authors of the study linked this effect to the increased oxygen uptake during pranayama. Oxygen is energy for your vital organs, including your brain and nerves.
2. Improves sleep quality
The stress-relieving effects of pranayama may also help you sleep.
In clinical studiesTrusted Source, a technique known as Bhramari pranayama was shown to slow down breathing and heart rate when practiced for 5 minutes. This may help calm your body for sleep.
According to a 2019 study, pranayama also improves sleep quality in people with obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, the study found that practicing pranayama decreased snoring and daytime sleepiness, suggesting benefits for better quality rest.
3. Increases mindfulness
For many of us, breathing is automatic. We do it without giving it much thought at all.
But during pranayama, you need to be aware of your breathing and how it feels. You also practice focusing on the present moment, instead of the past or future. This is known as mindfulness.
In a 2017 studyTrusted Source, students who practiced pranayama displayed higher levels of mindfulness than those who didn’t. The same students also showed better levels of emotional regulation. This was associated with the calming effect of pranayama, which supports your ability to be more mindful.
The researchers also mentioned that pranayama helps remove carbon dioxide and raises oxygen concentration, which fuels brain cells. This may contribute to mindfulness by improving focus and concentration.
4. Reduces high blood pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when your blood pressure reaches an unhealthy level. It increases the risk for some potentially serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke.
Stress is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. Pranayama can help minimize this risk by promoting relaxation.
In a 2014 studyTrusted Source, participants with mild hypertension received antihypertensive drugs for 6 weeks. Half the participants also received pranayama training for 6 weeks. By the end of the study, the latter group experienced a greater reduction in blood pressure.
This effect, according to the study authors, is likely due to the mindful breathing of pranayama.
When you concentrate on your breathing, it can help calm your nervous system. This, in turn, may help reduce your stress response and risk of hypertension.
5. Improves lung function
As a type of breathing exercise, the slow, forceful breathing of pranayama may strengthen your lungs.
One 2019 study determined that 6 weeks of practicing pranayama for 1 hour a day could have a significant effect on lung function. The practice improved multiple parameters of lung function, according to pulmonary test results.
According to the authors of the study, pranayama may be a useful lung strengthening tool for many lung conditions, including:
- allergic bronchitis
- for recovery from pneumonia and tuberculosis
6. Enhances cognitive performance
In addition to benefiting your lungs, pranayama may also enhance your brain function.
A 2013 studyTrusted Source found that 12 weeks of slow or fast pranayama improved executive function — which includes your working memory, cognitive flexibility, and reasoning skills.
The study also found that pranayama has the ability to improve your perceived level of stress and your reaction time.
Additionally, the study found that fast pranayama was associated with better auditory memory and sensory-motor performance.
According to the researchers, these benefits are due to the stress-lowering effects of pranayama. The increased oxygen uptake, which energizes brain cells, likely plays a role as well.
7. Reduces cigarette cravings
There’s evidence that yogic breathing, or pranayama, could decrease cravings in people who are trying to quit smoking.
In a 2012 study, just 10 minutes of yogic breathing caused a short-term reduction in cigarette cravings.
A recent study found that mindfulness-based yoga breathing decreased the negative effects associated with smoking withdrawal.
The bottom line
Pranayama, or breath control, is a main component of yoga. It’s frequently practiced with yoga postures and meditation.
The goal of pranayama is to strengthen the connection between your body and mind.
According to research, pranayama can promote relaxation and mindfulness. It’s also proven to support multiple aspects of physical health, including lung function, blood pressure, and brain function.
If you haven’t practiced pranayama before, you may want to join a yoga class or find a teacher who can teach the proper technique for these breathing exercises.