Introduction to meditation

20 April 2017 by
First published: 1 January 2017

This introduction to meditation by Ashley Hunt forms part 1 of our weekly guided meditation. And breathe…

Chances are, you’ve heard of the numerous benefits of meditation. From increased productivity to less stress and anxiety, as well as lower blood pressure, increased cardiovascular health, even weight loss, meditation encourages a healthy lifestyle overall. But, perhaps you are at a loss for where to start. Maybe the idea of trying to sit still for 20 minutes trying not to think sounds intimidating and, besides, you’re probably too busy to fit yet another task into your already full to-do list.

This introductory course is going to break it down for you and help you develop your own meditation practice in a way that works for you. The most important part of this course is to show you how easy meditation can be and how, by adding simple mindfulness practices into your day, it can transform your life.

Meditation is for everyone

Meditation isn’t sitting still for hours, it isn’t trying not to think and it doesn’t have to be boring. Meditation is not just for monks or hippies. Absolutely everyone can benefit from meditation. Learning to meditate can help you find both greater fulfilment in the good times and develop resilience to endure the hard times. Whether you are a stay-at-home mum juggling several children and home duties, a busy corporate, or a student trying to cope with exams, meditation can benefit you and your lifestyle.

There is no right or wrong

I encourage you to find your own style. If it doesn’t work for you, you won’t continue with it, so learn to make meditation something you can enjoy. If you don’t like to sit, that’s fine. You can lie down, you can walk around, you can meditate while exercising. You could start by sitting still and then move around when you get restless. You can close your eyes or keep them open. Your mind will wander and that’s OK, too. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you struggle at first. It might not click straight away. It will take time, but you will get better.

It’s all about the breath

Your breathing is what grounds you during meditation. The most simple way to start meditating is to simply sit and bring your attention to your breath. Start by simply watching your breath as it is naturally, with no judgement or expectation. Then, begin deepening each breath. Try to breathe deep into the belly, instead of taking shallow breaths into the chest. Each breath becoming slower and more and more controlled. Feel the instantly calming effect of deep breathing, melting away any stress.

Give it a go

A guided meditation is a great way to start for anyone new to meditation. Try this simple, 10-minute meditation first thing in the morning, throughout the day or when you need to take a moment to de-stress or at the end of the day when you are ready to unwind.