By: MaryGrace Naughton, Yoga & Meditation Specialist
You've probably heard about the healing effects of meditation to benefit your body, mind, and spirit. If you're wondering how to begin your practice, here are some helpful tips from Miraval's yoga and meditation guru MaryGrace Naughton.
- In meditation the frequency one engages in his/her practice supersedes the length of each session in terms of importance. Thus, it’s more beneficial to practice for 10 minutes each day as opposed to 30 minutes twice a week. While consistency is important, it is also very valuable to occasionally practice a meditation that is longer than your usual practice. This offers the practitioner the opportunity to observe fluctuations of the mind and cultivate equanimity and compassion.
- Some forms of meditation require complete silence, and while we recommend quiet, still areas, some people respond well to places that feature soft music in the background. Whatever environment helps you relax and detach from everyday thoughts and stressors is the perfect meditation environment for you.
- Find a position that you can sit in comfortably without needing to move or adjust yourself every few moments. You want to find a seat in which you can have a relatively straight spine and a relaxed body. When introducing meditation, find a seated position where you can be still for an extended period of time without much discomfort. The focus at the beginning should be on the breath as a way to focus your attention. Thoughts, body sensations, emotions all will arise; attend to the breath and let the rest be there, nothing to push away, nothing to grasp onto. Meditation is about being present with ‘what is’ while doing our best to let go of judgment and cultivate equanimity.
- Don’t take yourself, or meditation, too seriously. Look at this as something that will provide value in your life, and provide you with a few moments of quiet, where no interruptions are allowed. In addition to the spiritual elements of meditation, every person benefits from going within to observe the body/mind with compassion and kindness.
At Miraval, our guests can begin or enhance a meditation practice by attending any of our 13 meditation classes or scheduling a private session with one of our specialists.