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How to start a meditation practice?

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Hire and expert meditation teacher, go to India, or just buy a $hitload of candles. 

Only kidding.

You can start a meditation practice, now. Now is always the only time to do anything. It's always now. So just start.

Some people find it easier with the help of an app. Read here for my review on the best meditation apps. 

Some people just like to sit in silence and focus or count the in flow and out flow of their breath. This is perfectly fine as well.

The best way to start a practice is just to start. There isn't a right or wrong way and some days it will be way more challenging than others. You may even get the rare day your feel like your floating in clouds. I find that those come best in yoga niidra or after a yoga class.

If you're still stuck thinking I haven't provided you with valid answers here are 10 ideas of ways to meditate: 

1. Use an app (Daily calm, headspace etc)

2. Guided meditations on YouTube

3. Yoga niidra on YouTube 

4. Loving kindness meditation. Close your eyes and imagine your heart filled with a pink light that you can send to all the people you care about. Send this light to all those people and maybe extra for some people who may need it more . Perhaps you may even send to people who you dislike so you can release some of those negative feelings. Don't forget to send some to yourself as well.  

5. Set a 2-5 timer and gradually increase. Practise either focusing on the breath coming in and out. Don't worry if the mind wanders, it likes to do that . 

6. Practise counting the breath. See if you can make inhale longer than the exhale if you need more energy or the exhale longer if you need to relax.

7. Try square breathing. Breathe in for 4 breaths, hold for 4, breath out for 4 and then hold the exhale out for 4. Note the calm, relaxing space between breathing in and out. 

 8. Walking meditation. Go for a walk without your phone and become aware of your surroundings. Notice everything and use your senses one by one . What do you see, hear, smell, feel and taste?

9. Body scan. Close your eyes and scan your body from toes to head. Pay attention to any niggles or sensations in the body and breathe into them. Go slowly and move upwards including all parts of the body ie. Toes, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hold etc. Lastly relax your brain and stay in total stillness and silence for as long as you like, just breathing.

10. Do yoga for the best moving meditation and savasana. Focus on going into your body and pay total attention to the teacher's voice. Use the alignment clues and be inside the body as much as possible by focusing on your breath  

Remember all these practices shouldn't be taken too seriously. Smile if your mind wanders, keep trying and treat it with loving kindness, almost like a little toddler, needing reminders to come back to the room.

Meditation is a practice that you might never master, but that's because it is a practice not something that is ever perfect. 

You never regret a meditation so just do it. 

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