1. You don’t need to sit like Buddha with incense and candles everywhere
Like most things these days, our perception of what a proper meditation looks like has been deeply skewed by pop culture representations. There is no requirement for you to be in Lotus pose or sitting on the floor to have an effective session. You can mediate standing or sitting on a chair or cushion. Any environment that is both comfortable and easily accessible is all you need to meditate.
2. More often is better than longer
When cultivating a meditation practice, the length of time that your meditation sessions last is less important than how often you meditate. For a beginner, meditating for 10 to 20 minutes on a regular basis will be more effective in creating the habit than trying to meditate for long periods at a time.
3. “Clearing your mind” might not happen
One of the biggest misconceptions about meditation is that your mind will default to a blank state of consciousness. Not only is this unrealistic, but the very notion of it can sometimes put further stress on us if we feel we aren’t achieving a clear frame of mind. Deepak Chopra, a meditation expert states “the nature of the mind to move from one thought to another is in fact the very basis of meditation.” What’s important is to become aware of your thoughts, taking note of them rather than pushing them away.
4. Meditation is more than just a stress reliever
Many people associate meditation with stress management. Although it’s a fantastic way to reduce stress and anxiety, its benefits can reach beyond that. Over 350 published research studies have confirmed its perks. People who meditate have been shown to have lower blood pressure, improved sleep habits, and healthier immune systems. Students and workers practicing meditation show increased performance and efficiency.
5. Meditation comes in all shapes and sizes
Like any wellness activity, a variety of types and styles of meditation exist. There are mantra-based techniques such as Transcendental Meditation or Primordial Sound Meditation, mindfulness meditation and visualization. If one style doesn’t appeal to you, try another. You can tailor your practice to a particular goal, such as reducing anxiety or improving your sleep, but you can also meditate for overall wellbeing. Once you’ve found a meditation technique you enjoy, it will become easier to get into a regular practice.
6. Meditation is for the masses
Although the exact origins of mediation are unknown, the Chopra Center says it’s estimated to have been around for 5000 years. Several religions starting in prehistory incorporated it as part of their spiritual practices and many religions utilize meditation today as a daily practice. However, meditation has evolved to be accessible to modern societies, with the founding of mediation centers/retreats around the world and the publishing of books and scholarly articles. Today, several apps are available for download on iPhones and Androids that can guide you through meditation sessions at your convenience. Buddhify, Omvana and Headspace are some of our faves!
7. Meditation is going mainstream
Many people associate meditation with alternative spiritual practices, but much like exercise, it is a wellness activity with proven health benefits. Several celebrities including Katy Perry, Jerry Seinfeld, and Lena Dunham have spoken about practicing mediation. Corporations like Google, Yahoo, Nike, and HBO have on-site mediation sessions for their employees. Think your company could benefit from meditation? Book a session through Exubrancy and we’ll get you started.