You do not have to go to expensive classes, let alone spend time going to distant places to practice meditation. In this article we will teach you how to meditate at home.
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Inserting meditation into your routine can be a great way to forget the day-to-day problems and ensure more health.
Meditation has the power to reduce inflammation, relieve stress , manage your emotions, treat psychological problems, boost brain function, and treat various diseases.
It is best that you only need a few minutes of practice daily.
If you want to learn how to meditate at home, continue reading this article. In it you will learn:
- What does it mean to meditate?
- How Meditation Affects Mood and Brain
- Benefits of Meditation
- How to meditate at home? The principles of meditation
- Types of Meditation
- Meditate Applications
What does it mean to meditate?
We can define meditation as the practice of focusing the mind and attention on one’s own thoughts and habits. To meditate is to turn the senses inward in search of self-knowledge.
We are all concerned, anticipating the future or suffering from the past, turning our attentions to fears, hurts and worries.
To meditate is to train the mind to live the present moment, to forget the problems, to keep calm and to realize the beauty that resides in the world around us.
The practice had its first record in the Vedas (Indian scriptures) between 2000 and 900 BC For many people, meditation is a religious thing, since various religions include meditation in their routine, such as Buddhism.
It was through meditation, through rituals around the fire, that the human species began to observe their thoughts, to quiet the mind, and to develop the capacity for intellectualization.
According to Matt Rossano, professor of psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University , it was the meditation that made us human and differentiated us from Neanderthals. He explains this in his article ” Did meditating make us humans ?”
Meditation has the incredible power to transform the mind. It helped shape the brain we have today and contributed to the natural selection of more concentrated humans.
Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.
Benefits of Meditation
Although Eastern religions have used meditation for thousands of years, Western medicine has only recently begun to understand the incredible benefits it brings to the organism.
Changes in brain activity are noticeable through magnetic resonance imaging and tomography . In them we can see changes in the functioning of some areas of the brain, which are reflected in the functioning of the organism as a whole.
There is an increase in the integration and effectiveness of the brain and an increase in brain waves related to relaxation. There is even less oxygen consumption by body cells, decreased heart rate, and increased sense of well-being.
We can say that the brain of those who practice meditation is more efficient and active.
These are some of the many benefits of meditation:
- Relieves tension and stress ;
- Improves concentration, clarity of thoughts, memory, communication, focus and creativity;
- Combat psychological problems, such as depression and schizophrenia;
- Prevents cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s;
- Make you more productive;
- Decreases anxiety;
- Improves sleep quality;
- You learn to manage your emotions;
- It balances the hormones;
- It has anti-inflammatory action;
- Reduces pain.
How to Meditate at Home? The Basic Principles of Meditation
Breathing is the most important point in meditation, for it has the power to control thoughts and calm the mind. Controlling breathing is a fundamental requirement for learning how to meditate at home.
Pay attention to your breathing and the way the air enters and leaves your body. Let it flow naturally, do not be in a hurry or anxiety – forget all the worries and enjoy this moment to realize what happens inside you.
Where to Meditate?
You should choose a place where you will not have distractions, calm and quiet. Concentration is a fundamental requirement for the practice of meditation.
Choose a location in your home where you can not be bothered and comfortable. Some people like to meditate in the middle of nature, which is also a great option.
Meditation, like any other skill you wish to develop in your life, demands practice. The more you meditate, the more fruit you reap.
Think of the benefits that meditation will bring to your life, otherwise you will end up giving up on it. Imagine that meditating is an exercise that develops the “muscles of your brain.”
How Much Time Should I Meditate?
Ideally, you should start with 5 minutes a day and increase time as you feel more comfortable and focused. Keep in mind that the longer you can meditate, the more benefits you will have:
3 minutes – Improved circulation. Distribution of neuroendocrine secretions throughout the body.
7 minutes – Brain frequency waves change from Beta to Alpha (relaxation) and may even switch to Delta. The electromagnetic field around the body gains strength.
11 minutes – The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the brain balance and produce energy.
22 minutes – The production of anxious thoughts decreases.
31 minutes – The total balance of the endocrine system is reached. This is reflected in the mind, with mood swings and behavior.
62 minutes – Your subconscious mind and your positive (external) projection are integrated.
2 ½ hours – After that time the change in the subconscious mind lasts the whole cycle of the day.
Do not Lose Motivation
Perhaps the greatest challenge of meditation is to not lose motivation and not be frustrated. There is no perfect way to meditate, there is no “right” or “wrong.” Do not get frustrated if you can not still your mind or can not concentrate right.
Do not fight your thoughts, realize that they are part of what you are living. Just watch the thoughts and then focus the focus on your breathing.
Remember that meditation is a skill. As we practice, we become better and it gets easier.
Who can practice Meditation?
All people can and should practice meditation, including pregnant women and the elderly. Practice is a simple and effective way to calm the mind, relax the body, and find inner balance in the midst of the day-to-day turbulence.
Several schools around the world are adhering to the practice of meditation in their routine, and the result is surprising: it has improved creativity, concentration, school performance, student behavior, and decreased levels of stress and disapproval.
As the Dalai Lama put it, “If all eight-year-olds learn meditation, we will eliminate the violence of the world within a generation.”
Positions to Meditate
You need to be sitting in a firm and comfortable position; the neck, the head and the spine must be aligned so that the body relaxes, the breathing is calm and the mind is concentrated.
Sit in a way that you can stand in this position throughout the practice of meditation, without moving, to enter into a deep state of relaxation.
The only way to find out the best position for you is by testing. The following I will list some positions for you to try.
1 Sukhasana – Easy Pose
As the name says, easy posture is a simple and comfortable position. Ideal for people who do not have so much flexibility.
Sit on the floor or if you prefer on the edge of a cushion or blanket, bend your legs and bend one over the other so that your knees are relaxed to the sides. If you are going to use the cushion or blanket make sure it is at a suitable height to maintain the alignment of the spine.
2 Vajrasana – Knee Pose
The kneeling position is a variation of easy posture, used by Muslims and Zen Buddhists.
Get on your knees on a yoga mat or cushion, stay with your knees together and support your buttocks on the heels.
To make the position comfortable, join your toes and move your heels so that your buttocks rest on the inner surface of the feet so that the heels touch the sides of your hips.
Do not forget to stand erect, with your neck, head and spine aligned.
3 Padmasana – Lotus Posture
This posture reduces the flow of blood going to the legs, resulting in a blood rise to the brain. This posture requires a lot of flexibility and is usually used by those who practice Yoga .
Sit on the floor with your legs extended, slowly and carefully, flex your right leg and hold your right foot with both hands. Then rotate your foot so that the sole is facing you, place your instep over the top of your left thigh while lowering your right knee to the ground. Your right heel should be close to the pubis.
Then do the same with the left leg and look for a comfort point.
4 Sitting in the Chair
If you suffer from spine problems, or do not feel comfortable on the floor, the option is to sit on a chair that does not have support arms.
Sit slightly forward of the seat, so that your spine does not rest on the back of the chair. Keep the posture aligned and place the feet slightly apart, at a distance similar to the width of the hips.
Mudras and their Meanings
The mudras are positions held with the hands. Each part of the hand has a reflex reaction in a specific part of the brain. Mudras are able to block and guide the flow of energy to the brain.
The mind has more nerve closures attached to the hands than any other part of the body.
Rest your hands with your palms up, over your knees and thighs. Slightly attach the tip of the indicators and thumbs, and extend the other fingers.
1 Chin Mudra – Consciousness
When the index finger touches the thumb, a circuit is produced, which allows to redirect the energy that would normally disperse in the environment back to the body and to the brain.
This position symbolizes the union of the soul, makes you feel calm, balanced, increases your energy and relieves stress .
2 Jnana Mudra – Wisdom
Place your hands with your palms facing down on your knees or thighs, and put your fingertips and thumbs together, and stretch your other fingers.
This position promotes creativity, develops intellect, increases concentration and memory.
3 Bhairava Mudra – Harmonia
Rest your hands on your lap, palms facing up. Place your left hand over to the right and join the tip of your thumbs.
This mudra brings balance between the two cerebral hemispheres and promotes the harmony of body energy.
4 Ushas Mudra – Union
Place your hands on your lap, palms facing up. Interlace your fingers, and rest your thumb on top of each other.
This mudra balances the hormones, makes your mind more alert and interested, and stimulates sexual energy.
Types of Meditation
Now that you know the mudras and the positions, it is time to choose the technique of meditation that pleases you.
We can divide all forms of meditation into 2 groups:
Concentration Meditations: This type of meditation is indicated for those who seek tranquility and concentration. In it you focus your attention on a certain object or sensation until you enter into a deep state of relaxation, almost a dream.
Over time you develop your concentration and can calm your mind in any kind of situation, even in those where you would normally lose control.
Understanding Meditations: This type of practice aims to develop wisdom. The practitioner develops the capacity to perceive the real characteristics of existence.
In this type of meditation you pay more attention to your senses, thoughts and feelings. This method is most suitable for people who do not have so much concentration, they feel difficult to clear the mind and focus on a specific point.
Below we separate the most practiced methods of meditation to show you.
Transcendental Meditation – Concentration
Considered one of the most popular forms of meditation, this technique was introduced in the 1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
It aims to eliminate distractions. The practice is to sit with your eyes closed, repeating mantras to bring you into a deep state of consciousness.
But what are mantras anyway?
Mantras are sacred utterances of Sanskrit with psychological and spiritual powers. They are like healing to the soul. There is an infinity of mantras, each with a specific meaning.
The repetition of the mantra has the power to repair bad thoughts or memories and to provide new positive patterns in your life. By repeating the mantra, you are making your meaning go deep into your subconscious.
Vipassana Meditation – Understanding
Vipassana is one of India’s oldest meditative techniques; believed to have been taught by the Buddha himself. It is also called Mindfulness meditation.
The practice is to pay attention to the present moment with total acceptance, without judgments. The goal is not to stop thinking or clearing the mind. In this type of meditation you should observe your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations to gain knowledge about reality , without making assumptions or imagining things.
Over time the practitioner gains knowledge about their feelings and how to manage them, as well as learning to better control their actions.
Considered the path of self-transformation through self-observation, the Vipassana shows things as they are, leading the practitioner to use the mind to break the illusion that separates it from reality.
This method requires that the practitioner feel aligned and comfortable, close his eyes and pay attention to the air that enters and exits through the nostrils. Your mind will be distracted, but accept and let thoughts, images, or emotions come. When you become aware of the distraction, return to the state of simple consciousness.
Zazen Meditation – Concentration
When most people think of meditation, they imagine someone in a deep state of concentration and pleasure. Here the goal is exactly this.
Zazen means “sit zen,” in Sanskrit it means deep meditative state. The purpose of this technique is not to cling to thoughts, they will come, but you should only observe them in a way that you do not allow yourself to be carried by any of them.
To practice zazen look for a quiet place, neither very clear nor too dark. Sit in one of the positions mentioned above, in a comfortable and balanced manner, place your hands in the position of the mudras and close your eyes.
Focus should be on breathing and posture. Whenever a thought comes, do not pursue it or even try to avoid it, simply turn your attention to the breath.
A great place to practice Zazen is in the midst of nature. If you can not or prefer to stay in the comfort of your home, you can hear a relaxing sound like this:
Guided Meditation – Understanding
If you have never meditated, we suggest guided meditation. In it you will have the assistance of a teacher or guide who will give you instructions on the steps you should take while you are meditating.
This technique can last from 5 minutes to 1 hour, everything will depend on your state of concentration. The cool thing about guided meditation is that you can receive various teachings from your instructor beyond your inner reflections.
The practice is to listen to the audio, sit in a comfortable and aligned position, take a deep breath, close your eyes and go deeper into meditation.
5 ‘Minutes, I Meditate
Great alternative for those who do not speak English. This application was developed by an NGO called Hands Without Borders.
How to meditate at home? Now you know!
We are hyperconnected with the technological world and the things around us, and we end up forgetting something much more important: ourselves.
The practice of meditation has become a human need, whether to calm the mind or escape the stress of everyday life. Just a few minutes a day will transform your life.
Meditation is the best way to learn how to manage emotions and bring more balance to life. But it requires dedication and commitment, so do not expect miracles and immediate results.
Remember, no matter what technique, position, or time you will practice, the benefits of meditation will depend on your interest. Be patient that the results will come.
I hope this article on how to meditate at home has been helpful to you.
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Let’s practice? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax!