Whether you’re a total newbie to meditation or have been a dedicated practitioner for years, mindfulness meditation is another one of our all-time favourites. Its simplicity is what makes the practice so powerful. We believe that meditation is one of the best forms of self-care. Creating space and inner stability within yourself is something that nobody else can do for you – you are the only one who has control over your internal world. It takes patience and dedication, but eventually becomes routine and something you crave on the daily.

If you’re the type of person who wants to start meditating ASAP and skip the rest…we’ll walk you through it. Scroll down for your step-by-step guide on how to practice mindfulness.

THE PRACTICE:

Mindfulness is one of the more popular forms of Buddhist meditation. Traditionally called “Vipassana” (translated to “insight”), the essence of mindfulness is really quite simple. You follow the flow of your breath – watching each inhale and each exhale as it travels through your body. Each time you get lost in thought, you gently remind yourself to come back. With pioneers in the field such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg (just to name a few), mindfulness has become a well-recognized practice in the Western world. To get a sense behind the science, Jon developed a program called the “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) – an 8-week series in which participants were asked to practice mindfulness 30 minutes every day for 8 weeks straight. The research found that in this short amount of time, there was an increase in the grey matter of the hippocampus (center of the brain governing memory, emotion regulation and spatial orientation) and a decrease in the amygdala (center of the brain controlling fear, anxiety and stress). Pretty cool eh!? Just by sitting and watching your breath you have the capacity to literally change your brain structure! All while feeling an emotional release and a sense of deeper well-being & relaxation.

A side note about thoughts; you’re GOING to have them. This is inevitable…whether you start daydreaming about something that happened yesterday, last week or 5 years ago (trust us, we’ve all been there!). This is TOTALLY ok. And so so normal! We’re human, this is bound to happen. Please don’t feel like you “aren’t meditating right” if you experience any kind of thought, physical sensation or sound. Just remind yourself to come back to your breath with as little judgment as possible. It’s a constant drifting back & forth between stillness & activity, breath & thought.

YOUR STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE:

Meditation made easy…cuz it should feel ease-FULL. Here’s the step-by-step guide for how to practice mindfulness. Happy Meditating!

{our recommendations for amplified comfort: turn your phone/wifi off, set a timer for peace of mind, sit with your hips elevated on a bolster, block or cushion to protect your back and avoid your legs from falling asleep}

  • Light a candle. Put on your favorite scarf or wrap yourself up in a blanket. Find a comfortable seated shape.
  • Gently shut your eyes and take a few really slow deep breaths. Feel your belly expand with every inhale, and soften with every exhale
  • When you’ve noticed you’ve drifted away to a thought, sound or physical sensation. Smile – you’ve caught yourself!
  • Gently come back to the breath, watching as it moves through your body
  • Continue until your timer goes off (even just 5 minutes can change the chemistry of your brain!). Say thank you. Carry on with your day with a sense of calm.

OPTIONAL POST MEDI PRACTICE: JOURNALING

Post meditation is known to be a space where you are most susceptible to creativity. Write about insights, what you are trying to call into your life, your intentions for meditating, etc. Just let the pen flow across the paper… don’t censor anything (you’re the only one who is going to read it anyways), try not to judge what comes up or think “I can’t write”. This process is all about letting whatever needs to come to the surface, come and allowing insights from the subconscious mind to bubble up.

How did this practice go? What’s your favourite form of meditation? Share your experience or ask questions in the comment section below.

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