Meditation and mindfulness are done by keeping the body completely still, and focusing the mind on being in the present moment. In the past decades, scientific studies have proven that these ancient meditation and mindfulness practices are effective for a healthy and balanced mind.
Meditate by focusing on observing your breath
Meditation is all about focusing your mind on one point, and using this focal point as an anchor. Every time you notice your mind has wondered away into other thoughts, use this realization as a reminder to come back to focusing the mind.
One of the simplest tools to focus on during meditation is observing your breath. You can start with a short breath inquiry, noticing the speed and depth of your breath. Then from here, start to focus the attention of your mind to watching the regular flow of your breath. Each time you notice that you are thinking of something other than your breath, you can kindly guide your attention back to breathing.
To begin with you might notice that it is hard to hold your concentration for very long. Or that you get distracted by your thoughts, and it takes some time before you realize that your mind has wondered away. Don’t get discouraged by this, it’s all part of the practice! Over a period of time of consistent practice – which can be just 10 minutes each day – you’ll start to be able to concentrate and focus on your breath for longer periods of time.
Practicing mindfulness can help you integrate yoga into your daily life
The practice of mindfulness is all about being consciously aware about our full self. This includes observing how the body feels, noticing what’s happening with your breath, and becoming aware about thoughts and feelings. One way to practice mindfulness meditation can be by doing a body scan while lying on your back, with your eyes closed in Corpse pose (Savasana).
The beauty of mindfulness practices is that you can practice them at any time of the day, and in any place. They don’t always have to be done formally for long periods of time, although formal meditation practice will support you being mindful during the day. You can also work on integrating informal mindfulness moments into your daily life. For example, try simply pausing between daily activities, and taking 1 – 5 minutes to observe your breath, or mentally scan through your body. The only thing you have to do is remember – which isn’t always easy – in order to take the time to pause at different periods throughout your day, and be mindful of your breath and body.