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Learn to Meditate in 7 Steps (The Beginner’s Guide)

If you have never meditated before, no worries. This practice is very much a personal experience. You make of it what works for you, your health, and your intention.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice in mindfulness. It teaches you how to sit with the thoughts that run through your mind, or with the feelings or body sensations that you may feel while seated. Meditation allows these experiences to exist without reacting to them.

1. Set Up Your Space

Before you can learn to meditate, you will want to create a space for yourself first. Humans are natural nesters; we crave comfort and space in which we can feel at home.

2. Find Your Seat

This is probably the most important step in your practice. Finding the right seat for your meditation is paramount.

  • This is important because once your knees are higher than the hips, your back eventually begins to round as you sit. This rounding is pretty uncomfortable, as you try to sit up tall and maintain a tall spine through your meditation. So, lift yourself higher so that your knees can descend, allowing your spine to remain erect without much effort on your part.
  • If you want to sit in a chair, feel free to do so. There is no rule in meditation against sitting on a chair or the floor. Again, comfort is key. Just make sure that your feet touch down to the floor so that they are not hanging while you sit.
  • Lastly, if you do want to sit on the floor but feel the need for some extra support, sit up against a wall. This way, your back will still be supported.

3. Find Your Breath

Once you are comfortable and seated, rest your hands anywhere you would like (in your lap or on your knees) and close your eyes.

  1. Take a full breath out through the nose, exhaling fully the belly and the lungs
  2. Repeat this while you’re normally breathing in and out, and as you do so, begin to relax the physical body
  3. Relax the shoulder blades, the arms, the hands, the legs, and the feet
  4. Let the belly be soft as you breathe: you don’t need to pull it in or “contract the core” in any way
  5. Notice if you can slightly drop the chin so that the back of the neck is longer; this will prevent your neck and head from hurting, as you maintain this long spine hold
  6. Lastly, relax the muscles of your face: your jaw, your eyes, and your brow

4. Distract the Mind

The biggest challenge in meditation is keeping the mind busy while the body is relaxed.

5. Option to Utilize Affirmations

For some people, counting is too dry. Similarly, you may be having the type of day where you just need some motivation and inspiration. In these cases, affirmations are a great tool in your meditation practice.

  • I am enough.
  • I am love and I am loved.
  • I am whole.
  • Sat Nam — which translates to “True Identity.” It is a seed mantra that activates the 7 main chakra systems in the body.
  • Om — which is the universal sound and one most people are familiar with in yoga classes. It is usually practiced by drawing out the O and closing the lips on the M to create a buzzing vibration in the mouth and body.

6. Option to Utilize Guided Meditations

You may feel like you need someone to guide you through meditation if it becomes difficult to do it on your own. There are thankfully a plethora of online videos via Youtube and meditation apps on your phone that are widely accessible. Some are free, while some have a subscription option.

7. Keep It Simple

Meditation is not always going to be easy. Some days, you are going to be busy, tired, apathetic, or unavailable, and that is okay.

Final Thoughts

If you want yo learn to meditate, these 7 tips will help you chart out a plan to begin. They are simple and perfect for beginners, making this meditation practice ever so accessible to everyone.

Writer | Yogi | Traveler | Creator of #YogaSouhl (www.aleksslijepcevic.com)