Meditating outside can be extremely refreshing, especially thanks to the warmer weather. Meditation is the approach to training your mind, the same way you would train your body at the gym. If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the stresses in your life, you should definitely try your hand at meditation. Check out our meditation tips for beginners:
1. Pick A Time
It’s up to you when you want to meditate, but doing so in the morning can have lasting positive effects on your mind and body for the remainder of the day. But remember that you can meditate anywhere and at any time of day. If you’re feeling stressed out at work or school, take five or ten minutes for yourself away from the commotion.
2. Pick A Space
Once again, you can meditate anywhere your heart desires. But summer is finally here, so grab your blanket and head to the park, the waterfront, or even just your backyard. There’s something about being surrounded by nature that brings about a calming effect.
3. Make A Playlist
Now, whether or not you want to listen to music while you meditate is completely up to you. Some might find it distracting, but personally having some soft, chill music playing in the background really helps me relax and clear my mind. Some artists that make great meditation music are Bob Marley, Kygo and Hozier. You could even try looking for a “meditation” or “relaxation” playlist on Spotify, 8tracks or Songza.
4. Get Comfortable
Grab your yoga mat or a nice, comfy blanket, and lay it down on a spot that speaks to you. Do you want to be chillin’ in the shade, or do you feel blissful when the sun touches your skin? You’ll want to find a place that leaves you relatively undisturbed, but don’t worry about finding a spot that’s completely void of people or noises. If you happen to be around any kind of lake or stream, you’ve lucked out. Is there anything more relaxing than the sound of running water? Put yourself in a cross-legged position with your hands resting on your knees.
5.100 Breaths Technique
Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. Feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. The easiest way to introduce yourself to meditation is by focusing on your breathing. Let your heart rate slow down. Try the 100 breaths technique – it’s exactly what it sounds like. Close your eyes and take 100 deep breaths. Try to focus on nothing else but the sound of your breathing.
6. Repeat A Mantra
If you find it difficult to remain focused on your breathing while being silent, you should try mantra meditation. This involves repeating a mantra (which is a sound, word or phrase) over and over, until you silence the mind and enter a deep meditative state. The mantra can be anything you choose, as long as it is easy to remember. Start out using words like peace, calm or quiet. You could also use the more traditional “Om”.
7. Concentrate On An Object
Concentrate on an object: Similar to using a mantra, you can use a simple visual object to focus on a to reach a level of deeper consciousness. Many people find this form of open-eye meditation easier since they have something to focus their gaze on.
8. Talk A Walk
Now, keep in mind that this is a meditation-style walk, not an exercise type of walk. The goal isn’t to go as fast as you can or to burn calories. This walk involves observing the movement of your feet and becoming aware of your body’s connection to the earth. While practicing walking meditation, try to focus on the movement of your feet and nothing else, in the same way that you focus on the rising and falling of your breath during breathing meditation. Extra points if you can walk barefoot.
9. Take A Meditationap
This is exactly what it sounds like. Does it get any better? Lie down and get comfortable. Cover yourself with a blanket and just prepare to do nothing. If you fall asleep…oh, well. Otherwise just sit back and just enjoy observing the nature around you.
If you think about the most relaxing place on earth, what comes to mind? A warm, sandy beach? Or maybe you’re in the woods, paddling out into the lake. Visualization is another popular meditation technique, which involves creating a peaceful place in your mind and exploring it, until you reach a state of complete calm. Take in the sights, sounds and scents – this is your sanctuary.
11. Do A Body Scan
Lie down on your back and place your hands where they feel comfortable. Doing a body scan involves focusing on each body part individually, and consciously relaxing it. It’s a simple meditation technique that allows you to relax the mind and the body. Start at your feet and slowly work your way up. By the time you are finished, every part of your body will be at ease.
12. Practice Gratitude
Once your practice is through, spend a few minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice and of your mind’s ability to focus. Meditation isn’t easy, and it’s more of a journey rather than a destination. Take a moment to feel proud of yourself and to be grateful for the beautiful day you’re experiencing!