Are you setting up your goals and resolutions for the New Year? Or in need of a little tune up now? Since I haven’t been as diligent with my workout routine, I’ve been ramping up my meditation. Meditation is an incredible stress neutralizer. I’ve been playing with a classic meditation before bed and/or in the morning as I’m waking up.
It’s not always realistic to find a quiet space, light a candle and sit on a meditation cushion. If you can, amazing. If you can’t, I think anywhere will do and any amount of time you can give is leaps and bounds better than not doing it at all. Chopra.com is a great resource if you want to find some meditation techniques.
I’ve been doing the So Hum meditation. The So (I am) Hum (that) meditation is simple, but powerful. It uses the breath and the repetition of a mantra to quiet the mind and relax the body. According to Chopra, “This meditation will help take your awareness from a state of constriction to a state of expanded consciousness.” The full process can be found here. The following is my modified version:
- Start where you are. Ideally in a quiet place. (Sometimes I do this when I get into bed and am heading off to sleep or when I wake up in the morning and am still lying in bed b/c that’s when I remember to do it)
- Close your eyes and take a few moments to observe the inflow and outflow of your breath
- Now take a slow, deep breath through your nose, while thinking or silently repeating the word So
- Then slowly exhale through your nose while silently repeating the word Hum. Continue to allow your breath to flow easily, silently repeating So . . . Hum . . .with each inflow and outflow of the breath. Whenever your attention drifts to thoughts in your mind, sounds in the environment, or sensations in your body, gently return to your breath, silently repeating So . . . Hum
- The Chopra Center recommends you do this process for 20 to 30 minutes. Sometimes I can do 5, 10 or 15 minutes. I try not to get to fixated on the duration. I do what I can and that’s good enough
At the Chopra Center there is only one meditation rule: “Never rush to or from meditation. Just allow the peace and calm to soak into your body, and you will carry a little bit of this peace and calm with you as you move into the activities of your day.” I love this! It takes the pressure off and encourages you to be peaceful as you transition back into your day or off into dreamland. For me, even 5 minutes of meditation calms me. I feel clear and reset. After a week of consistent practice, I can really feel the difference in overall reactions and attitude.
Learn more about meditation here. Throw out the rules. Do what you can. If someone says you shouldn’t meditate in bed or should spend at least 25 minutes in meditation, that’s fine for them (and maybe you). But if it’s the difference between not doing it all or spending 2 minutes, the 2 minutes is better than nothing! ♥