Starting Out A Seated Meditation Practice Can Be Hard
Carving out time for you is hard, especially for seated meditation practice. There, I said it “IT IS HARD” so we can all stop pretending that this is going to be an easy thing to do and instead steel ourselves to accept the challenge! It’s even harder when you have a spare bit of time and have to choose between several unfinished tasks, all of which seem to be screaming out for your attention. This can drown out the initial intent to sit quietly for a few moments since we’re conditioned to believe this is lazy or unproductive. This is a familiar narrative in my mind too but I promise you that with practice, you will get better at doing it.
Building Up To A Seated Meditation Practice
This term in my weekly yoga classes the theme has been soothing the central nervous system to prepare for seated meditation practice. We’ve added a minute each week in order to gradually build up to a 10 minute seated meditation practice. If 10 minutes seems too long to begin though then I suggest 3 minutes as a great starting point. You can focus on your breath to begin with or use a favourite technique if you prefer. After that you’ll find out quickly that meditation is rarely a fully structured practice. Your mind will wander and you will bring it back and then it will wander again. Don’t worry! It is only your mind doing what all minds do, you aren’t bad at this and there is no way to be bad at meditation (except maybe not doing it at all!)
Reasons For Your Seated Meditation Practice
Strangely enough I disagree with our common excuse that not having enough hours in the day is the problem. I believe that it’s how we prioritise our time that is the problem. Rarely do we put our own self-care first and will often prioritise a basket of washing, uncleaned floor or grocery shopping over and above our own mental health. In the past year or two I’ve reframed my self-care into caring for my own mental health. For me this shift has been useful as I’m less likely to make an excuse that I’m busy. That reason could be different for each of you so it might be useful to think about what your motivation is. Why do you want to start a practice? What do you hope to gain from it? Write it down to help solidify the idea in your mind.
My 5 Tips For A Seated Meditation Practice
- Have a reason – write it down
- Work out where you will practice, it could just be a chair. Make it easy to set up.
- Decide when you will practice – what time of day suits you best, try to visualise where you will slot this little practice into your daily routine.
- Set an achievable time limit (3-10mins?) – use a timer on your phone with a soft tone like a chime or similar to bring you out of your practice.
- Keep going – the habit will get easier with practice although the practice itself may not!
It’s not always easy sitting with our thoughts, sensations, emotions and outside noises all vying for our attention. Some days will be easier than others and you can note that – really that’s what meditation is – noting what is happening for you in the moment. Good Luck x
About Charleyoga & Charley Hickey C-IAYT
Author: Charley Hickey C-IAYT is a practicing yoga therapist and senior yoga teacher who runs group and private yoga classes in Applecross, Bateman & Fremantle, Perth. She also runs specialised yoga workshops for yoga students & yoga teachers.
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