Meditation: Getting started

May is mental health month. Our mental health is especially important this spring as we continue to navigate the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and adjust to the many changes the pandemic has brought into our lives.

Meditation is a calming practice that relieves stress, and can be done almost anywhere. In addition to being a registered dietitian with Copeman Healthcare, I am also a registered yoga instructor. If you’re intimidated by the thought of meditating, don’t be! This video guide and article will help you get started on your journey to mindfulness.

Body Position

Whether you decide to meditate sitting in a chair on sitting on the floor, here are a few things to consider:

  • Maintain a tall spine by sitting up straight and keeping your head above your shoulders instead of leaning forwards or backwards
  • If you are seated on the floor, sit on a yoga block or a folded towel to create a slight angle between your hips and knees
  • Use blocks or a folded towel to support your knees if they do not comfortably fall to the ground
  • Stack your palms and place them in your lap or place them on your knees

What if My Mind Wanders?

It is completely normal for you to have some thoughts in your mind during meditation, so don’t worry too much about this! Here are some suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Focus on something happening in the present moment, such as your breath
  • Don’t allow your mind to linger on thoughts of the past or future
  • If thoughts are lingering for longer periods of time, bring your attention back to the present moment by focusing in on your breath or sensation in your body
  • Use a phrase or mantra to bring your mind back the present, this is discussed below

Getting Started

  • Begin by closing your eyes
  • Take a deep breath through your nose and pause at the top. Exhale and let the breath go
  • On your next inhale, say in your mind “I know I’m breathing in”, and on your exhale say in your mind “I know I’m breathing out”
  • Continue with this practice at your own pace

 

Looking for some additional ways to practice meditation or mindfulness? Check out  Copeman TV for additional content!