When and where to meditate?
You can practice meditation at any time of the day or night; but it tries to establish consistency. Meditation benefits you the most by doing it every day at the same time and, if possible, in the same place.
Traditionally, morning is considered the optimal time because you are less likely to be distracted by the demands of your day. When you wake up in the morning or before bed at night, there are times that lend themselves well to a period of stillness and reflection.
However, sooner or later it’s fine too. Wait at least half an hour after eating, up to three hours after a heavy meal, so there is no competition for energy between digestion and meditation.
The best way to start a meditation practice is to sit daily for five to ten minutes. Once you’ve established the habit, gradually lengthen the amount of time in five-minute increments. Short, regular sessions are fine, and better than infrequent long sessions.
After a while, you will probably sit for longer periods and discover the pattern that suits you best. You can add 5 to 10 minutes of meditation at the end of your asana practice, or do 15 to 20 minutes or more regardless of your yoga practice.
When not to meditate:
Don’t try to meditate at a time of day that is always busy, or if you are overstimulated by caffeine or alcohol, because you may be distracted. You can fall asleep if you are tired or after a big meal.
If you feel depressed or even a little sad, this is not a good time to meditate. If you are full of negative feelings, meditation could focus them and make you feel worse. The physical action of doing some yoga poses will remove impurities and negativity from the body. Meditation is best practiced in a positive state of mind.
It is helpful to create a special place to meditate; to create a certain simplicity around you that reminds you of the importance of taking care of your inner being.
If possible, find a place that is somewhat removed from excess noise and discomfort; one that is nice and warm. It can simply be a corner of your room that turns into a dedicated space.
Turn off the phone and television and, if possible, create an external space of silence and tranquility. But, try not to worry too much about any external noise.
There will always be a noise beyond your control. Wear ear plugs if external noise is disrupting your concentration.
If you meditate outside, choose a place where you feel safe and relaxed, and there is little strange activity that bothers you. Practicing outside in a place of natural beauty makes it easier to relax and prepare your body for the peaceful side of meditation.
Positions To Meditate
Sitting is the most recommended posture for meditation. There are a number of classic sitting poses: Easy Sitting Pose – sitting cross-legged on the floor; sitting in Half Lotus or Lotus position; or kneeling in “Japanese style”. Sitting in a chair with your legs crossed and your feet flat on the floor also works and is often the best choice for beginners.
It is very important that your spine remains upright and that you feel stable, relaxed and comfortable. To maximize comfort when sitting cross-legged on the floor, place a cushion or folded blanket or towel under your buttocks to raise them up and gently guide your knees to the floor.
This helps support the natural lumbar curve of the lower back. Relax your arms and place your hands on your thighs or in your lap, with your palms in a relaxed up or down position.
Keep the neck long and the chin tilted down slightly. Depending on the technique you are following, the eyes may open or close. Breathing is natural and free.
This is a moving meditation style, highly recommended by many teachers. You walk slowly and consciously, each step becomes your focal point. Destination, distance, and pace are incidental.
Relax your arms at your sides and move freely, coordinating your breathing with your steps. For example, you can inhale for 3 steps and exhale for 3 steps. Or you can just breathe freely.
Although you can practice walking meditation anywhere, try to choose the environment that you like: the beach, a favorite park or a meadow. Getting somewhere is not the purpose; rather, full participation in the act of walking becomes your meditation.
Hatha yoga is also a form of meditation in motion, where the mind and body are united by consciousness. Each pose requires concentration.
This is another meditation that is often recommended for those who find it difficult to sit down, and martial artists find that it develops physical, mental, and spiritual strength. Stand with your feet hip-to-shoulder.
The knees are soft, the arms rest comfortably at the sides. Your entire body should be aligned in good posture; shoulders bent back and down, open chest, long neck, head floating on top and chin parallel to the floor. Keep your eyes open or gently close them.
Although lying down is associated with relaxation, the classical corpse pose is also used for meditation. Position yourself in a symmetrical and comfortable position with adequate support under your head and knees if necessary.
Their eyes can be open or closed; although it is easier to stay awake with your eyes open. This position implies a higher degree of alertness to stay awake and focused. Therefore, beginners may have a harder time meditating in this position without falling asleep.
Hatha yoga students are more frequently introduced to meditation through the corpse pose performed at the end of each practice session.
This pose produces deep relaxation, as the body is still, but passively alert and fully supported by the floor. In this posture, the muscles relax and lengthen, passive breathing, necessary in all postures, takes control and increases concentration.