- Melania Zilo
Your Guide to Morning Meditation
Start your day the right way with mindful practice.
From reducing stress and sleeplessness to alleviating physical pain, meditation has been found to have endless benefits on the mind and body. I try to dedicate at least ten minutes every morning to my practice, which is a very grounding and peaceful start to my day. Many may find the idea of meditation daunting or even frustrating. Luckily, there are so many ways to get in tune with your body sans uncomfortable cross-legged position. Here is my daily meditation practice + some extra tips for the newbies (welcome <3).
5-Minute Breathing Meditation
-Find a comfy position (sitting, standing, headstand against the wall, anything will do). -Pay attention to your body. Notice it's shape, weight, the sensations, your connection to your ground. -Focus on your breath. Allow the breath to flow naturally. Pay attention to where you feel the breath, whether it be your chest, stomach, or nostrils. Feel each sensation as the breath comes. -Let your mind wander. You may get frustrated if you notice your mind dosing off to other places. This is a very natural occurrence, so thank your thoughts and redirect your focus back to breathing. After 5-10 minutes, take a few final moments to notice and appreciate your breath and your body. Take one last inhale and exhale and thank your body for all it does.
The word mantra is derived from two Sanskrit words—manas (mind) andtra (tool). I first began practicing this technique to protect myself from unwanted emotions and thoughts. For others, this technique serves as a more profound spiritual practice, particularly in Hindu and ancient Christian traditions.
Finding your mantra: A mantra is a syllable, word, or phrase that is repeated during meditation. First, think about your why, and then find the best mantra to suit your intention. Ancient tradition suggests sticking with one mantra for several months before moving onto the next, to maximize and cultivate your sense of peace and deepen your practice. Practicing: -Start by finding a comfortable position. -Begin by silently repeating your mantra, once on the inhalation, and again when you exhale. -After 10 times, repeat the mantra by moving your lips silently. Then return to reciting it internally without moving your lips. -Repeat steps 2 and 3 for five minutes. As different thoughts enter your mind, do not get frustrated. Welcome and thank these thoughts, take a deep breath, and reshift your focus as many times as needed. This practice may feel uncomfortable at first but trust your body. Mantra meditation allows you to be in the moment, and take your mind out of auto-pilot. Aside from the immediate feeling of euphoria and serenity that rushes to your body after finishing your practice, mantra meditation has significant benefits to your mind, body, and subconscious in the long term.
The key to a beneficial meditation practice is finding what exactly works for you. There are so many techniques out there, and these are just a couple that I have learned to love. I strongly encourage taking time to explore the plethora of techniques available, as well as the many apps out there such as Headspace or The Mindfulness App for more guided techniques.
With that, I will leave you with my favorite closing mantra.
The mantra: Om śāntih śāntih śāntih
Pronunciation: a-u-m shanti hee shanti hee shanti hee Translation: Peace peace peace Because we can all use a little peace right now.