Today I want to share with you 10 tips that have impacted my meditation practice in an amazing way. I learned these tips over the year and really find that my general focus and depth of meditation are improving by a landslide. I hope that you find these practical tips and suggestions to be great tools for your growing practice as well. Stay zen and enjoy!
- Comfortable, loose fitting clothes:
It is so important to wear comfortable clothes to help limit distraction in meditation practice. Ever wonder if yoga pants really can be a lifestyle? Yes, yoga pants are “my everything” for meditation practice and I have no shame about it. Generally, I have been wearing a loose fitting long sleeve sweater now that it’s getting colder out and yoga pants to keep my legs warm. I also may or may not wear socks and shoes.
- Reasonably quiet low traffic space:
I have two little boys (3 & 5) who love to run and roam around our quaint aka small two-bedroom apartment squealing and squabbling with each other. I don’t expect absolute silence and try to appreciate that they are alive and well without me engaging so I can have the time for my practice. I also invite my children to meditate with me so they can be familiar with the practice. My inviting my children to join they also tend to quiet down and support the desired quiet practice atmosphere.
- Incense to offer your sense of smell, settle into practice and create a ritual:
I did some research to better understand why, I feel like meditation and incense have become inseparable for me. My research took me to an interesting article that explained that the effect of incense can mean a lot for being engaged in your practice and may act as a ritual performed which helps the mind quickly connect to meditation focus and practice.
- Ignore watery eyes if you get them in practice:
I have known my eyes to consistently water every time I practice meditation and I couldn’t for the life of me determine why. I did some research and found that some articles suggest that there may be emotional blockages being release when I meditate at a higher level of focus. Not sure but I know my breathing is very focused, so it could also be my oxygen intake.
- Mantras and word flow:
I really enjoy stating my mantras aloud or mouthing the words of my mantras when I am feeling more distractible. This instantly helps me to refocus and build a buffer against my distractions. I also find that using mantras that include “I feel” or “I am” have the highest impact in practice.
- Find back support:
I am definitely working to have more core strength but as of late I have been having some issues staying centered during my practice. This is generally after a core workout none the less I will opt to lie down on my bed, sit in a chair, lean on a wall to practice my meditation. There is no hard rule that states you must always sit cross-legged and so on, so I just do what my body directs.
- Meditation timer:
I love my online meditation timer; it’s a great tool for focus because you can set the chimes to play in intervals. This is great because I generally set the timer for intervals of 5 minutes where I cover 4 mantras in my practice of 20 minutes.
- Breathing flow:
I notice that I can reach higher states of focus when I take deep breaths inward and outward of my mouth. Some in practice swear by breathing in nasally and outwardly by mouth. My breathing is more consistent and deeper when I breathe through my mouth, breathing deep way down into my belly. I also find that pausing 2-3 seconds after inhaling then pausing again 2-3 seconds before for exhaling really does magic. (Ex. pause-inhale-pause-exhale).
- Invite a friend/ loved one:
My husband and I will meditate together and it’s awesome, generally the principle is the same for general workouts. An accountability buddy in meditation can help keep focus and eliminate blowing off practice to do other things. It can also offer great mirroring qualities where the invitee will demonstrate focus and provide excellent example in practice of general contributions to the atmosphere.
- Background Sounds:
Continue to dig for more tips and examples. My favorite music to meditate has been Pranava meditation chants. I find that my focus is heightened with this type of chanting and I am able to quickly access higher planes of focus and life feels blissful when I listen to Pranava Chants. Sometimes just listening to crashing waves, white noise or nature-based sounds are also very successful to my practice.
My current favorite sounds for practice: