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meditation

Back to Basics: Meditation

by BetterSleep
Jun 21 • 4 min read
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Meditation and mindfulness offer a variety of health benefits for the body and mind. Regular practice helps reduce stress, increase energy, minimize brain chatter, reduce blood pressure, and reduce cortisol. All you need is a little time, patience, and a comfortable place to sit.

Simple Beginner Meditation Guide

Start by sitting comfortably on the floor or on a chair. Make sure the area is free from noises and distractions. Next, you should:

  • Feel your breath. Follow the rhythm of the air going in and out of your lungs.
  • Close your eyes and focus on the center of your forehead. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
  • Notice when your mind wanders. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Acknowledge your thoughts without judgment. Try not to obsess over your thoughts. Let them go and continue to follow the breath.
  • When you feel ready, finish your meditation practice by opening your eyes, noticing the environment around you, and taking note of how your body feels.

How Long Should You Meditate?

Meditation practice should be personal to you. When starting out, don’t think you have to force an amount of time that doesn’t feel right. However, a good timeframe to aim for is 10 minutes a day minimum, which can be built on as you progress.

What is the Best Meditation Position?

The first step to successful meditation practice is finding a comfortable position to sit in. If you are not comfortable and constantly fidgeting, you will not be able to focus your mind.

While there is no best meditation position for everyone, there are four main postures to choose from:

  • Sitting
  • Lying down
  • Standing
  • Walking

Many experts say that sitting is optimal because it offers a balance of relaxation and focus. Lying down may cause you to get too relaxed and fall asleep.

Gyan Mudra (Sharpening of Knowledge)

Touch the thumb to the tip of the index fingers and keep the middle fingers and little fingers long. Rest the wrists on the thigh or knee, with the palms facing upwards.

Dhyana Mudra (Improves Concentration)

Rest your right hand on top of the left with palms facing upwards. Touch your thumbs together and rest your hands in front of your stomach.

Buddi Mudra (Improves Mental Clarity)

Touch the little finger to the thumb. Lengthen your index, middle, and ring fingers and rest your hands on the top of the thighs, with the palms facing upwards.

Prayer Mudra (Balance Body and Energy)

Place both hands together in a prayer position against the center of your chest. Fingers should be pointing upwards and elbows relaxed by the sides.

While meditation is a simple practice, it takes time to turn it into a habit. Our brain is always looking for shortcuts and avoids doing certain things, even if we know they are good for us. Set a reminder on your phone and save a specific time each day, dedicated to meditation.

For inspiration, follow the guided meditations on the BetterSleep app. You can start today for free!

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