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How to Benefit From Meditate Even if You Can’t Sit Still

Yes, you can gain the benefits of meditation even if you can’t sit still.

Do you want to meditate, but have trouble sitting still? That was and continues to be me. It is especially challenging when the facilitator prescribes a very specific way of sitting and where to put my hands. For many adults, the most difficult part of meditation is finding a way to sit or lay down that is comfortable and in which they can stay without moving for at least 20 minutes, frequently much longer. Maybe your legs start or your back or neck begins to throb. You may need to shift around frequently. Regardless of what is keeping you from settling into a comfortable position, it’s difficult to still your mind when it feels like your body is refusing to cooperate.

Studies show that moving during meditation has its advantages, including burning more calories and living longer. On the other hand, excessive movements while you are meditating can distract from your meditation being as powerful as it can be.

Luckily, you can enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of meditation even if you are unable to find a comfortable resting space. Start with these proven strategies that will help you feel more at ease during meditation.

1. Prepare yourself. Switching gears quickly from driving or during a busy day to sitting or lying still can be a struggle. Smooth out the transition. When possible spend some time before your meditation preparing for your session. This could be as simple as 3 deep, intentional breaths as you get out of the car into the meditation space.

2. Remember your purpose. Moving can be an indication of boredom or lack of engagement. Remind yourself why meditation is important to you. If you must move your body due to physical discomfort do this keeping your mind focused on the meditation.

3. Fold your hands. In meditation, we are frequently asked to have our palms on our laps facing upwards. If this does not work for your body change your hand positions. Just pressing your hands together can encourage you to be still. Experiment with different hand positions.

4. Hold something. Holding something in your hands makes it less likely you’ll engage in movements.  You can use traditional prayer beads or any small object like a crystal.

5. Touch a wall. The desire to move during meditation can be associated with nervousness or anxiety, which is especially troublesome if meditation sometimes brings up disturbing emotions for you. Sitting with your back against a wall can help you feel supported.

6. Keep practicing. Being distracted by the desire to move during meditation is like any habit. Each time you manage to overcome this desire, you’re training yourself to make positive changes in all areas of your life.

7. Respect your limits. Just as with any new physical practice you many need to start with a shorter period of time.  You are much more likely to succeed if you start for shorter periods and increase over time.

How to Meditate When Your Body Does Not Seem to Cooperate

Very few adults can sit in a full lotus position when first learning to meditate.  Give your body permission to let you know what it needs and adjust accordingly.

Use these strategies to loosen up before meditating.

1. Stretch regularly. Stretching will help you become more flexible and will open up your hips and shoulders.   Even what may seem to be the smallest movements will be hugely beneficial

2. Do yoga.  Many say that they can’t fit a yoga class into their already busy schedules.   Learning just a few poses and practicing them regularly can be a significant help in keeping you flexible.  YouTube has a large number of yoga videos.  If you do have some physical issues search for “restorative yoga”.

3. Warm-up. Heat can make your body instantly feel more flexible.   If you are meditating at home take a warm shower first.  If you out rub your hands over your legs and arms to stimulate your circulation before meditation.  During meditation, our bodies tend to cool down so it is very helpful to have a shawl or a blanket either on you or close by before you meditate.

4. Sit up straight. Proper alignment relieves aches and pains.   Check that you are sitting with your weight on the center of your sit bones. Relax your shoulders and lift your chest.

5. Use props.  Especially in any type of restorative process props during meditation can become your best friends.  They can be household pillows and blankets or cushions and bolster made specifically for meditation.

6. Listen to your body. Any modification can be beneficial if it helps you to focus. Sit on a chair or on a cushion. Stand up or move around when you need to.

With a few simple adjustments, you can meditate comfortably even if you tend to be restless or have trouble touching your toes. Bring greater happiness and peace into your life by developing a regular practice.

Getting Ready for Meditation

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]It is very important to note that with any new undertaking, there will be questions and adjustments, and your mind will probably want to talk you out of it as well.

If you persist and experiment, you will get to where you need to be with your meditation practice.

Understand Meditation is an effortless process. Just learn to let go and Simply be!

Take the time to read through some books or get some audio/visual tapes to acclimate yourself with the art and practice of meditation. In this way, you will know what to expect.

Start to focus on your breathing throughout the day. When you are hurried and rushed, do you notice that your breath is shorter and more labored? If so, begin by focusing on each breath, taking deep breaths in through the nostrils and releasing through the mouth. You should also notice the rise and fall of your stomach as you focus on your breathing.

Be intentional about your meditation. Meditation is a practice and a learned skill. Have an earnest desire and intention to include meditation practice in your day to day life. Start just five minutes a day initially.

Its OK if you are not dress appropriately for meditation, though wearing loose clothing will increase the level of your comfort and concentration,  but If you are trying to sneak in ten minutes of meditation in your lunch hour, dressed in your business skirt and heels, should not restrict you from reaching internal peace, having said that  Do  Set aside a time and space that is distraction free, where you can wear loose fitting clothing and where you can focus ,concentrate and simply let go.

Begin with the practice of releasing tension in all your body parts. Focus on the feet first and release tension in that area; move up to your ankles, etc. Do this until you have reached the top of your head. For some practitioners, tightening and releasing muscles as they go along makes for a greater awareness of the release.

Practice your breathing techniques together with the release of tension in your body parts. At first, this will seem difficult; however, it will become easier as time goes on. You will be able to tighten and release your muscles and breathe in and out to release that tension.

Stretching your muscles a bit before sitting to meditate is a great way to get blood circulating and get in the moment.
Choose a focal point, if you wish. For some, meditation is only done with their eyes closed, while others need a focal point. Yours could be a picture on the wall of a serene setting.

Let others in on your new-found desire to learn meditation. If those around you know you need quiet time, they will respect your solitude – especially if it will give them a happier and healthier you.

Be consistent with your mediation practices. Do not let circumstances take over control of your mediation practice, and if it does be with it -do not resist , do not worry , but do get back to your practice whenever you are ready, as meditation will  bring peace and wellbeing in all aspects of your life.

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Easy Breathing Practices

 Breathing exercise or Pranayama in yogic terms has many healing properties but the immediate benefit is it helps relaxing and clearing your mind.

Breathing with awareness is an important step to get started in calming our mind, getting into present moment and ultimately towards meditation. Breathing may be as simple as breathing in and out with full awareness. Breathing should be done at your own pace and at your own comfort. As  always with any exercise do what feels right for your body that day and at that moment.

For mediation to be successful, you will need to read up a little, listen to some CDs, and most of all practice a bit of breathing properly. Here are a few easy breathing practices to make your beginning mediation experience an enlightened one.

Proper Sitting for Proper Breathing

First and foremost, make sure that you are comfortable. Sitting upright with a straight spine will help the energy flow and prepare you for proper breathing exercises. Do not sit too rigidly, or you will be uncomfortable and unresponsive to the proper breathing format.

Relaxation of the Body

Once you have gotten into a comfortable seated position, it is important to relax your body to prepare it for breathing techniques and meditation.

No matter how well you practice your breathing, if your body is tense, you will not have success. Begin by relaxing the muscles in your toes, moving to your ankles, and work your way all the way up to the top of your head. Once your body is in its relaxed position, then it will be time to begin your proper breathing techniques.

Pay Attention to Your Breaths

In the beginning, simply pay attention to your breaths. Be attuned to the rhythm of the breaths, focusing on the in and out of those breaths. Do not try to control those breaths; just be aware of them. It is very important to be aware of how you are breathing in the beginning before trying to learn any new technique on how to breathe. Being aware is an important part of the process.

Pay Attention to Your Body

Once you are acutely aware of how you breathe, it is important to pay attention to your body. If you are not experiencing your stomach rising and falling with each breath, you may be tense in the moment. It is important to have your breath enter into the nostrils and leave through mouth naturally.

Establish a Rhythm

It is very important to establish a breathing rhythm. Once you become aware of your breathing, you will notice that it is easier to establish a rhythm. Once that rhythm is established, you will find your meditation to flow easily and you will get the most benefit out of that meditation.

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Creating a Meditation Space

Once you have made a conscious choice to meditate, then the next step is to take action. If you have chosen to meditate at home, then it would be nice to create a space where the magic will happen.

We all try to sabotage ourselves and talk ourselves out of things by making excuses as to why we should not do something. However, once you commit to making meditation as part of your life, there will be no more excuses.

Creating a Meditation Room

Pick a room in the house and declare that space to be your new meditation space. Speak with your family members if you have family living with you. Explain to them that by sacrificing this space as serene meditation place, they are helping you to achieve the goal of calmness and peace, which in turn would be great and win win situation for all. Once  your family knows that you will benefit and that they will benefit by the transformation in you as well, they should be more than happy to accommodate you.

Creating a Meditation Space

If the option of having a room all to yourself does not work, do not let that deter you. Choose a space in a room that is designated for your meditation work. Your own bedroom would work wonders.

Things You Will Need

Regardless of whether or not your space is an entire room or a small space in the corner of your bedroom, you can create the space you need for perfect meditation. For this, you will need:

* A space that is void of distraction
* A space that defines you
* A place where you can be comfortable
* A comfortable floor mat , cushion or chair
* Amenities that are conducive to relaxation

Choose a space that has minimal distraction, preferably where no phone exists. Decorate your space so that it defines you in a positive light. If your favorite color is blue, then a blue yoga mat or comfy blue pillow will be great additions. If you love to travel for leisure, put up some pictures of favorite places that you have been.

Make sure you are at your most comfortable in your space. A thick, cushy floor cushion and a fluffy pillow behind your back are ideal ways to start your meditation practice. If your floor mat is not comfortable, you will not be either. You can choose to sit on chair where can sit tall with your neck and spine aligned, again be comfortable and do not strain in anyways or else we are defeating the purpose of meditation.

If you wish to you could meditate with some serene music, music into the background just low enough to get the impact. Burn some incense or some candles, and you will be all set to go.

Once you have designed the space or room based on the theory of relaxation, you will notice how you run there to practice the art of meditation. It will be so inviting, you will not be able to wait.

 

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Common Meditation Problems

As with any new adventure, the feeling of starting off with tons of excitement and exhilaration and then falling to the other end of the spectrum is common.

When you begin your endeavor of meditation, it is important to remember that there will be times of frustration. Meditation is not a magic pill that, once swallowed, will come easily and effortlessly. It takes practice and it takes patience.

There are some common problems with mediation in the early stages.

* It is hard to focus – In the beginning, you may have high expectations that meditation will magically transform your life and it will do so immediately. This is not the case. Meditation takes focus. When you find your mind constantly shifting gears and you are unable to sit quietly and focus on breathing, you need to regain control of that focus.

Sometimes picking a focal point in the center of the room or even a focal point that you have created will alleviate the problem of focus. Concentrating on your breathing will also help you gain control of your meditation experience.

* Thinking too much – If you are thinking too much about trying not to think too much, you will sabotage yourself. Try not to focus too much on getting clear and quiet. If you find you are straining the muscles in your forehead, trying to clear your mind, then you are trying too hard. Start with a slow progression of deep breaths and by tensing and releasing various parts of your body and your muscles. When it comes to meditation, too much effort can strain your results.

* Too many distractions – If you have not designated a quiet space for your mediation, chances are that you will not have a successful beginning. It is very important to have a set-aside room or space for your meditation practice. If you have chosen a place with too many distractions and too much traffic, you have set yourself up for failure. In addition, it is imperative to tell your family members that you have a schedule and you intend to stick to it.

* Disregarding your commitment – In the beginning, when you are not quite seeing the immediate results you may have anticipated, it is easy to disregard your commitment. However, make it a point to stick to your commitment even if that means being accountable to a friend or family member. If you give up too soon, you will never reap the amazing benefits of mind, health, and body.

* Difficulty with the breathing rhythm – Sometimes individuals may breathe in too deeply and out too rapidly. The point is not to hyperventilate yourself, but to find that rhythm that works for you. Long, slow, deep inhalations with long, slow exhalations will work better than short breaths in and short breaths out. Once you get the feel for the rhythm, you will have mediation down in no time flat.