Thanks to Belinda for continuing to help us find solace and serenity in amidst our busy lives. This is the second post in our ‘Monday Meditation’ series in October. ~ Annie
Meditation practice, like any beneficial activity that we’d like to make a daily habit, works best if we schedule in time for it everyday.
Last week’s post touched on the benefits that meditation can help us enjoy, so this week we get into the nitty gritty of how to incorporate it into our lives. By carving out this time and space in your life, you’ll soon find it’s a time each day you relish and look forward to.
Choose a time
As mothers, it often feels as though we never get time for ourselves, but have a think about your daily schedule and pick out some potential times where you are likely to have no interruptions.
Depending on the day, my meditation time varies. As much as I’d love to get up early and start my day with meditation, my boys get up super early so it’s not possible for me. You may have some later risers, so first thing may work best for you. The days that I’m home with just my youngest boy I can count on a nap time meditation in the middle of the day, which gives me a good rest and helps me get on with the rest of my day with a spring in my step. On work days, I may do a short meditation on the train on the way to work or even on my lunch break – I just put on a meditation audio on my phone, stick in my ear phones and close my eyes behind dark glasses and away I go. Many days though, my only chance to meditate is when both boys are in bed just before I go to sleep. Sometimes I nod off halfway through, but I always feel I reap the benefits by breathing out the events of the day, which helps me to sleep better.
Experiment with a few different times and see what works for you. To start with, aim for 10 minutes a day and once you get the hang of it you can start to go longer if you wish.
Choose a space
Another way to make meditation a really enjoyable ritual is to choose a space that you can make super comfy and inviting. I have two spaces in my house where I do meditation. I have a chair in the corner of the living room with plenty of cushions and a yoga bolster where I meditate sitting down. When I meditate here, I often make a cup of tea and put on some essential oil in the diffuser and make an event of it. By night, I may even light a couple of candles. I find that these little touches make even the shortest meditation feel extra special and really amps up the self care factor.
My other location is sitting up in bed supported by some big cushions. If I’m super tired I may lay down and, even though I will drift off, I always find it’s quite a blissful way to ease my way into sleep, especially if it’s been a busy day.
Have a look around your house and choose a spot that makes you feel relaxed – it could be a favourite chair, a corner of your back yard or on a sunlit step. If you decide to sit cross-legged on the ground, try sitting on a cushion to help you get a nice straight spine.
Choose a style
Once you’ve got your time and space sorted, it’s time to think about the style of meditation you’d like to try. I find ‘guided meditations’ are a good place to start and the internet has plenty of these. You’ll be guided through all the different parts of your body and prompted to relax them. If you don’t feel the need to be guided through and you’d just like some quiet time – some soft music and focusing on deepening your breath is a great way to go.
Focusing on an object, like the flickering flame of a candle, is another great way to focus the mind on something other than the chattering of your thoughts.
Again, experiment with some different styles and see what works for you. Next week, we’ll take things a bit further and talk about setting intentions and using mantras to help deepen your practice.
Belinda is a journalist, yoga-addict and mother to two boys, always searching for ways to live a purposeful and stress-free life. Join her over at her blog Save Mum’s Sanity in celebrating the perfectly imperfect journey of motherhood.