MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS
Keep meaning to give meditation a go but can never find the time? Or feel slightly intimidated at the prospect of sitting alone in an empty room trying to clear your mind? We hear you, which is why we’ve enlisted the help of Gabrielle Hales, author of Secret Yoga Club, to teach us the very basics. A yoga and meditation teacher for the past seven years, she started Secret Yoga Club four years ago to share the restorative and introspective qualities of yoga and meditation through classes, retreats and creative events. Her super-relaxing 10-minute meditation video is perfect for beginners – so find a quiet spot and enjoy!
Meditation is a fantastic way to calm a busy or anxious mind. It’s great for clarity, creativity, feeling more peaceful and making better decisions. Crucially, it also switches the body into relaxation mode, which is the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system.
You can do it anywhere, you just need quiet space and somewhere to sit down. It’s the best way to reset should you be feeling a bit anxious, frustrated or claustrophobic. Taking this time for yourself is essential, rather than a luxury. It will help you be kinder, more patient, relaxed and less reactive. The morning is the best time to practise, but any time works.
One of the main things I teach beginners is that when we meditate, it’s not that we are not thinking about anything and the mind is empty immediately. It takes a long time and practice to be able to drop instantly into stillness. It’s more of a process where we observe the patterns and tricks of the cognitive mind by letting the thoughts come, and letting them go. Again and again. Allowing them to drift through the mind like clouds in the sky.
Meditation is great for clarity, creativity, feeling more peaceful and making better decisions.
We pin our attention onto the breath as a way to keep our mind entertained. It’s like a naughty child and always needs something to focus on! By following the breath, we are able to come back to a moment of pure presence, and these moments are deeply nourishing. A little oasis.
A meditation practice is a way for us to harness our awareness, and this is a super power. Then we can focus our consciousness on what thoughts make us feel good, and what dreams we would like to manifest. Moving through the world with more confidence and clarity.
I know that it’s not always easy to find complete stillness and privacy, especially for parents. If this is you, then there are other ways to practice mindfulness. If you can, turn eating into a meditation, tasting each flavour and texture. Explore cooking with awareness or even cleaning. If you’re outside, just stare at leaves in the trees, or ripples on the water. Anything that you do with complete and utter focus on the task at hand can be a moment of relief for a busy mind.
Allow your thoughts to drift through the mind like clouds in the sky.
The meditation below is 10 minutes long, with a short introduction. I will guide you using breathwork, as the breath is a tool for signalling to the body to relax and exploring presence in the fullness of each moment.