Meditation 101 – Magical or Murderous?

Jenny Dean Fitness yoga

If visions of “ooooommmmm” and “hmmmmmmmm” give you the creeps, then come closer. I may be able to change your mind!

We’ve all heard that meditation is good for us… So why don’t we do it?

I’ve been teaching yoga for over seven years, and in those years, I’ve encountered many people who immediately dismiss meditation. They may think it’s weird, feel intimidated by it, or they simply don’t understand WHY, and the potential benefits to their body.

Jenny Dean meditation 2I want to help people understand not only the importance of meditation and the value it can have to your well-being but also HOW to meditate for maximum benefit. It’s life-changing once you get it.

Why Someone Might Avoid Meditation…

There are various reasons (excuses?) why someone may avoid “the whole meditation thing.”

  • “It takes too much time.”
  • “I don’t have a dedicated space.”
  • “It takes silence.” (not so easy to find in households with children!)
  • “Wow, I feel stupid doing this.”
  • “What if someone catches me in the act?!”

Magical Mindful Meditation

Meditation is simply choosing to be FULLY present in your body and sitting with whatever it is you’re going through on that particular day.

It sounds so vague, but I promise I’m not getting all weird on you! It’s truly that simple. Simply, staying in the moment!

yoga childs poseFor example, have you ever gotten in your car after a long day of work, driven all the way home, and then realized that you have no idea how you actually got there?

Well, there’s nothing wrong with letting your mind wander, really, but there’s a better way to refresh your mind.

With meditation, it’s about waking UP – rather than tuning out – and paying attention to what is happening WITHIN you. Once we’re fully aware of what’s going on inside of us, we’re more in tune with our emotions and able to reach deep and tap into the calm state that we were born with.

Ok, So How Do I Begin?

meditation peaceFirst, start with a 3-5 minute timer. Sit in a comfortable seat with your eyes closed. Put your right hand on your heart, and your left hand on your belly. This simple movement will help you stay more focused on your inhales and exhales. (Which is meditation, by the way… I told you, it’s really quite simple!)

If you’re a more visual person like me, you can do what I do. I visualize my thoughts as a fluffy white cloud. I like to watch them float on by. For you, maybe it’s releasing your stress or a busy day up to Heaven. Whatever works for your heart, just calm your mind for a few minutes and let go.

Meditation is being aware of each thought that comes to our head, but not giving energy to the thought. Letting the thought float on by, while we go back to our breath. Pretty soon the thoughts will slow down and come less frequently.

The Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of meditation are endless. When we slow down our thought process, we become calmer and more self-aware. If you struggle with anxiety or depression, mediation will help you deal with it on a deeper level than medication.

I like to think of it is as a daily multi-vitamin. It supports and enhances the quality of your life. Meditation reduces inflammation and stress while improving your focus and increasing your productivity. Other benefits of meditation can include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Better emotional health
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Improved attention span
  • Improved mental discipline
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased blood pressure

Jenny Dean meditationMeditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health. And bonus: it can be done anywhere, without special equipment or memberships.

For additional guidance, try some apps! My favorites are:

So, meet me in mindfulness! Start simple. Just one minute. Then work your way up to 2-5 minutes every day. Keep it consistent and you’ll get addicted to starting every day with a meditation practice.