How to meditate at home? I think this is one of the hardest things I do in my day and in honesty I don’t think I’m very good at it… but even writing that, I realise it’s a ridiculous comment. Meditation isn’t something you can be good or bad at, it’s something that will continue to change day-to-day for each person and is something that constantly evolves.
Yesterday I went to an amazing meditation class and it was the first time I’ve meditated with my eyes open. We practiced the Buddhist method of Shamatha; one of the more popular ways of meditating which you’ll find in many classes. There is no right or wrong for having the eyes open or closed, but I definitely found that keeping mine open was much harder as not only did I have to watch my own thoughts pass through my mind, I had the added struggle of seeing others in the group out of the corner of my eye and my mind wandering each time anyone moved, even a tiny bit.
Going to a class is great, but can be an odd experience if you’ve never done it before. We’re so busy with manic jobs and lives that when faced with pure silence we can get agitated and feel awkward. Working from home I know how hard it can be to turn away from my to-do list or the washing machine and take a moment to myself to meditate, but if you make the effort to do just 10 minutes a day, then you’ll feel amazing.
Here’s my little guide on how to meditate at home:
- Find a time of day that works best for you. The mornings and evenings are always good as you’re in a slightly more rested state at these times of day and your mind & body hopefully aren’t stressing as much about your to-do list as they would be around mid-afternoon. That being said, for any new mums out there, when your baby is having a little snooze, that can be the perfect time for you to have a moment of peace.
- Get comfortable. There are many yoga props like bolsters and blocks that can help with this, but even without those things, you’ll be fine. Meditation should ideally be done sitting upright, with a straight spine and neck, with your knees lower than your hips. You’ll be sitting in the same position for 10-15 minutes, so you need to find a position most comfortable for you. Maybe you’ll sit on some pillows pilled up, with your knees either side and a blanket over you, or maybe with the edge of your bottom on some cushions with your legs in an open crossed position. When we’ve all master these, we’ll be sitting in Padmasana (lotus) to meditate for hours! 😉
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, so that no one can interrupt your practice and set your timer for 10 minutes. I say 10 minutes, as that’s how I first started and it never felt like too long. I now meditate for 15-20 minutes.
- When you’re new to meditation it’s very common for people to feel a little drowsy and almost fall asleep. This is ok, we’ve all done it and in the next point I’ll move on to how we can avoid that. The important thing to remember is that meditation is a practice that you will learn more about over time, so if you doze off the first few times, don’t beat yourself up. If you know you’re feeling tired then meditating with the eyes open, softly gazing straight out ahead can help.
- The idea of this type of meditation is to focus on the breath. Naturally our minds will wander and thoughts will come in flows and sequences. The key here is to always come back to the inhales and exhales. It’s tough to do, but in a way you want to feel like you’ve stepped out of your own mind and you’re just watching the thoughts pass by like clouds, not getting caught up in them or giving them your attention. Each time you find your mind being taken off into a thought sequence, just calmly recognise it, and move back to the breath.
- The benefits of meditation will vary from person to person, but the main aim is to take you to a place outside of your own mind and body, finding a space in between where you can be calm and just watch your thoughts play out and pass by. For some people meditation can help awaken creativity in the mind and it allows people to look at things from a different perspective when they find that ‘space’.
Hopefully thats gives you a little introduction on how to meditate at home, so you can give it a try.
Love & Light, Cat x