By Anne Bridges
Meditation is a powerful tool, used to silence the mind and achieve a sense of calm in an increasingly chaotic world. When you meditate regularly, you learn to effortlessly transition into a state of inner peace. This can take a long time to master, and sometimes feels like an uphill struggle. Here are six ways to improve your meditation:
1. Have a Dedicated Meditation Space
Whilst we don’t all have enough space to dedicate an entire room to meditation, it’s a good idea to set aside a corner of your home just for meditation.
If you can, avoid using your bedroom, so you can separate sleep and meditation. You should also avoid your office or study, for obvious reasons, and you must choose a space with no distractions. If you also practice yoga in the home much like many of the Jivamukti Yoga London team do, using the same space can be beneficial.
Decorate the area with items that promote a meditative state. If you’re deeply spiritual, or religious, these should be items that encourage spiritual and religious meditation.
There are no set rules – create a space that works well for you, as an individual.
2. Decide What You Want to Achieve
What do you want to get from your meditation sessions? Be clear about your goals, and write them down. This will help you to visualise and achieve the end result. If you don’t do this, how will you know your meditation has been successful?
Many people begin to meditate without knowing what to expect. This can lead you down the wrong path, as you’ll constantly be seeking more, without knowing what you really want.
3. Use a Mala Beads to Help You Focus
Mala beads are used to aid the process of meditation. Traditionally, they were used to keep count during mantra meditiation, but they can be useful in different types of meditation too.
If you struggle to focus whilst in meditation, and find your mind wandering, mala beads have been found to improve focus. To find out how to use them effectively, read one of the mala bead guides available online.
4. Go With the Flow
Whilst it’s important to have goals for each session, you must also be flexible, and go with the flow. If you start of down one path, but your mind takes you elsewhere, don’t become fixated on the goals. This will have a negative impact upon your meditation, as you try to force your way down a path that wasn’t meant to be.
Meditation is a way to manage and prevent stress, so be careful not to place too much pressure on yourself during the session.
5. Acknowledge Your Thoughts
If you consistently find your meditation interrupted by disruptive thoughts, you must acknowledge them. Be mindful of your body’s emotions and responses – why are they happening? Once you acknowledge them, you can either dismiss them, or deal with them before continuing the session.
Sometimes, life prevents us from achieving the state of inner peace we’re looking for, and we need to accept this. If this happens to you, try to uncover the reason behind it, and address this before the next session.
6. Ignore the Time Limit
If you have set aside an hour to meditate, but it takes a while longer to achieve your goal, don’t worry about it. Imposing a strict time limit is destructive, and will impede your ability to achieve your goals.
Never rush the process of meditation. You may finish your session early, if you feel you have achieved all that you need to, but try not to cut your time short for any other reason.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne is a yoga teacher in training, she has written this post with the help of various yoga students, teachers and fans who have given their thoughts over the years as what they feel are the best ways to improve your meditation. When Anne is not on the yoga mat she works as a creative artworker and enjoys spending her weekends with her fiance and their little dog Alfie.