Question of the Month: I know I should meditate, but I don’t know how to go about it. How do I start?

• Establish a meditation corner that you can use every day. It should be a place where you can be relatively undisturbed during your meditation sessions.
• Meditate at the same time everyday.
• Sit as long as you can everyday. Even five minutes of sitting will help you cultivate and maintain your awareness as you continue through the day.
• Determine before you take your seat, how long you will meditate. This will eliminate decision-making during your session.
• You can sit quietly or use a guided meditation tape/cd.
• Keep it simple. Do not try to induce a particular state of mind, just an attitude of openness and curiosity. This will help you let go of judgments, expectations and other obstacles that keep you from being present.

Breath Awareness Meditation, a meditation for all levels of practitioners
With this meditation, your attention is not solely on your breath. You are expanding your awareness to allow yourself to also notice your thoughts.

What does it mean to notice your thoughts? Simply notice every time your mind starts to wander. Rest your awareness on your exhale, and notice your thinking. Don’t get pulled into the stories, the planning, the evaluations. Don’t criticize yourself for thinking. Just become aware. Use the exhalation to keep you connected to the present moment.

Breath Awareness meditation is the first step to understanding how we can direct our internal experience. It is the first step to understanding our unconscious habits. You cannot practice this meditation incorrectly. You are not trying to achieve some transcendental state of bliss. You may find that this meditation produces a mental clarity and a sense of well-being. Sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t. That is not the point. The point is to practice noticing, and to begin to understand your mind.

About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and has been teaching yoga since 1994. She has trained under master yoga teachers Swami Padmananda, Patricia Walden, Manouso Manos, Father Joe Pereira, Zoë Stewart, Karin Stephan, Liz Owen and others. She continues to study with her Iyengar teachers, Patricia Walden and Peentz Dubble. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014 and attended Abhijata's intensive in Pune, India December 2016. Roberta is currently enrolled in Peentz Dubble's two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program. Additionally, Roberta completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor. She completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and has been an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. Roberta's Personal Practice Philosophy: Health issues have changed and deepened my practice. You will see many photos of me using a variety of props. On days I don't feel well, instead of saying, "I can't practice today", Iyengar Yoga has taught me to say, "How can I practice today".
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