3 ways to enhance your meditation experience
I was introduced to meditation and mindfulness when I was 8 years old through my Martial Arts practice. I never thought I would ever teach it though. For 20 years I practiced Zanshin, the Japanese for “state of total awareness”. I experimented in different situations and environments, from indoors in my room, to outdoors in the mountains, even in supermarkets and at parties. The fact is that mindfulness can, and should be, with us anytime and everywhere.
Today I will give you 3 of my best ways to enhance your meditation or mindfulness experience.
All the information is sent to and from your brain from and to all the corners of your body through your spinal cord. If you visualize your spinal cord as a garden hose, it is easy to understand why posture is probably the most important and overlooked elements on our lifestyle not only meditation.
If the hose is bent then the water is restricted from flowing. When the hose is straight the water follows its path.
The same goes for your spinal cord. When we sit or stand tall the exchange of information is free to go back and forth helping us function at our optimum level, heal faster and better, have more energy and vitality and sending nutrients where we most need them. In meditation the same principles apply, a tall spine and body allows for better flow and communication and enhanced awareness.
2. Open up your senses
Touch, smell, hear, see, taste. Depending on the circumstances you may open up all 5 senses or just some of them. Nonetheless studies show that being in a state of awareness of the world around you helps reduce stress levels, anxiety, helps focus and productivity.
So next time you are in a supermarket try this:
FEEL how your fingers and hands pick up a piece of fruit, feel its texture, temperature and shape.
SMELL the difference fragrances surrounding you while you walk around the store. The smell of freshly baked bread, spices, fruit and vegetables.
HEAR how the cart wheels roll on the ground. Hear the rustling of peoples’ clothes when you walk past them.
SEE or rather acknowledge colours, shapes, sized and names of different products around you.
You can experiment in many different ways. Acknowledge the world around you.
The same goes for when you sit and meditate. You may close your eyes and observe your thoughts, or even hear far away noises, outside your room or house.
Breathing is the element which brings us in a state of total awareness. Almost every meditation exercise begins with breathing and relaxing your body.
When you focus on breathing your mind cannot wonder around. If it does then you don’t focus on breathing anymore. When this happens slowly bring your awareness back to breathing.
When you relax your body you can choose to do a full “body scan” – relaxing the top of you head, forehead, cheeks, and go all the way down to your toes. Or you could relax certain parts of you body where you hold most tension. This is normally in the face muscles, shoulders and shoulder blades and lower back. But it’s not the same for everyone, so observe where you feel tensed around the body and breathe into that part of your body, releasing more and more tension with every out breathe.
If you’d like to learn more please download my free eBook “15 Healthy Habits For The Body” or book a free consultation with me.