Daily Detox Rituals: Meditation
As I sit here brainstorming on how to share my thoughts on a meditation daily detox through this incredible tool, I am torn on what approach to take. Part of me wants to write a strong post full of scientific reasons why you should start meditating, to help convince you why it would be beneficial for you to start meditating (I should also mention I only want to “convince” you because it’s just so freaking amazing). But honestly, what good would that do? There are already tons of publications/blogs/books/news segments that have listed out all of the benefits of meditation, with solid research backed by science, yet so many people are still not meditating!!??!! (I keep bringing up science since apparently that seems to get people’s trust/approval even though lots of bogus companies use this term very loosely)
So here I am, raw, unfiltered and unscientific; sharing why I think you should meditate everyday and how meditation has helped me; because honestly, it wasn’t the scientific research that got me incorporating meditation into my life on a daily basis; it was understanding it more simply, believing it was something I could do and trying it long enough to really experience the benefits of meditation first hand.
Some of you may think that meditation is only for monks or Buddhists whom repeatedly hum, sit on a meditation pillow for hours and are empty of all thoughts. That is so far from the truth! Meditation is for anyone, no matter your age/sex/race/religion/job/passions/skills. There was a time I thought meditation was something I could NEVER do. I have an extremely over active mind, I obsess, I stress, I worry and if you’ve read my other posts, you may also know that I have a difficult time resting and being still (basically, I like to try to do as much as humanly possible to reaaaallly get the most out of those 24 hours we get each day, lol… so ridiculous, right?!) I am here to tell you if I can meditate, you can meditate.
Meditation was something I didn’t have time for and “couldn’t do” so I never tried it… luckily I started meditating without even realizing it when I started to take my yoga practice more seriously: when I started to breathe mindfully that’s when everything shifted for me. The deeper I dove into my yoga practice, the more meditative it became: the more I practiced, the better my alignment and postures became, and once I felt more fluid physically I was able to really focus on my breathing.. and from there yoga became a moving meditation for me. Before I knew it I was meditating. Imagine that, huh! Me, the girl with the over active mind, meditating. I was breathing mindfully and deeply. I was connected to my body. I was able to tap into this calmness and control my thoughts and emotions for once in my life.
Plain and simply: a meditation daily detox gives you an opportunity to get grounded, get connected and be present.
The best way for me to describe this is: picture a balloon that is tied to a long thin white ribbon. If the ribbon is not tied to something stable and grounded it will float off in whatever direction the wind blows. A balloon that’s string is attached to something stable and grounded is anchored, but it’s not stuck, it can still free flow through the wind, but it won’t blow away and get lost.
The balloon is your emotions and thoughts.
Your meditation practice is your anchor of stability.
Your meditation daily detox practice is where you learn to grab ahold of the reigns that are your emotions and thoughts and BREATHE. Your breath is your meditation guide and is there for you to get grounded whenever you feel yourself being blown in a direction you don’t want to go.
Through regular meditation you can:
- Reduce stress
- Improve your concentration
- Meditation encourages a healthy lifestyle
- Increases self-awareness
- It increases happiness
- Meditation increases acceptance
- Slows aging
Simple 5 Minute Meditation
It’s best to begin in a quiet place where you will not be interrupted, no TV on, no radio, no computer or cell phone alerts
Find a comfortable seat, maybe sitting on a pillow on the floor. You can do this sitting in a chair as well if you prefer, the most important thing is your spine is long (not hunched over) Your shoulder are back and your chin is slightly tucked.. good posture/alignment is everything!
Silence your phone and set your timer for 5 minutes
You can place your hands gently on your knees palms up or down, or folded in your lap
Begin by breathing deeply in and out through your nose. Focusing on your breath. Mindfully lengthening your inhales and exhales. Silently counting your inhales and exhales, making them the same length, working towards making them as long as possible. Inhale for 1, 2, 3, 4… exhale 4, 3, 2, 1 repeat
Thoughts will come up, the meditation practice happens when you acknowledge those thoughts, let them pass and then redirect your attention back to your breath. Each time your mind wanders bring it back to your breath. Don’t react, don’t judge, don’t give up; just gently guide your attention back to your breath.
I totally understand that this can seem intimidating at first thought, but that is just fear, and you don’t have to succumb to that fear.. you have control of your thoughts! Trust me, I have been there! By the way, it’s called a meditation PRACTICE for a reason, IT’S HARD!! You have to P R A C T I C E !!! So go easy on yourself! Start small. Start with 5 minutes a day. You can do that! Just 5 minutes. Set a timer so you don’t feel compelled to check the time every 30 seconds. Commit for one week meditating 5 minutes a day and watch the changes unfold within you! You don’t have to just be seated to meditate, you can meditate anywhere any time, all you need to do is breathe mindfully!
Also, a great book on meditation is Success Through Stillness by Russell Simmons. I loved this book- it was quick, easy to understand, and a very informative read!